The father of Colorado Springs shooting suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich said the first thing he thought when he heard about the attack at Club Q was why his son was at an LGBTQ+ bar. Aaron Brink, a former porn actor and MMA fighter, told CBS8 that he received a call from his child’s public defender on the night of November 20, informing him that Aldrich was being held for the mass shooting.

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Aldrich is accused of opening fire in a nightclub serving the LGBTQ+ community on November 19, killing five people and injuring at least 19 others. 

“They started telling me about the incident, a shooting involving multiple people. And then I go on to find out it’s a gay bar. I said, ‘God, is he gay?’ I got scared, ‘S***, is he gay?’ And he’s not gay, so I said, ‘Phhhewww…,” Brink said.

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He told CBS8 that his family was Mormon and that “we don’t do gay.” While the father admitted to having anti-gay views, he said there was no justification for his son allegedly shooting people in an LGBT+ club.

“I’m so sorry guys for your loss. With no regard to politics, it’s human life. I’m so sorry. My soul goes out to you. Life is so fragile, and it’s valuable. Those people’s lives were valuable,” Brink said. 

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According to court documents from Aldrich’s attorneys, the 22-year-old is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns. The 48-year-old Brink revealed to the San Diego-based news outlet that his ex-wife Laura Voepel had called him in 2016 to inform him that their son, Nicholas Brink, had changed their name and committed suicide.

He had continued to believe that his child was dead until six months ago, when he received an unexpected phone call from Aldrich. According to Brink, Aldrich was “pissed off” and wanted to “poke at the old man.”

He continued by saying that he taught his child to fight at a young age and “praised him for violent behaviour.” Brink added that this never included the use of firearms, despite his belief that “guns are good.” He instead taught his son to fight like him. Anderson Aldrich was smart and good with computers as a child, according to Brink.