Accused Club Q Shooter Changed Name at 15, Now Identifies as Nonbinary

The accused Club Q shooter was born in May 2000 in Orange County, California, as Nicholas Franklin Brink. On May 2, 2016, according to Texas court records, Nicholas Franklin Brink became Anderson Lee Aldrich.

In several standard motions filed on behalf of Anderson Lee Aldrich on Tuesday, public defenders refer to the suspect as “Mx. Aldrich,” noting in footnotes that Aldrich, 22, is nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns.

Anderson Lee Aldrich and mother Laura Voepel in July

Shortly before Aldrich changed their name, the suspected shooter apparently was a target of online bullying and showed signs of a fascination with gay culture.

  • A wikipedia-style parody website targeted Aldrich with attacks on their weight and calling Aldrich gay slurs. “Spending all day lurking in the depths of the internet on child porn sites and gaming forums, if you so much as glanced in his direction, he’d immediately attempt to overpower you with his fat and tell you all about his success on the internet.”

  • Aldrich, as Nicholas Brink, established a YouTube channel in 2010 using the moniker “TheAzzbackward.” Aldrich may have been the creator of an animated 45-second video displayed on the site called “Asian Homosexual Gets Molested.” It was the only video on the channel. 

A petition for the name change lists the reason as “minor wishes to protect himself and his future from any connections to birth father and his criminal history. Father has had no contact with minor for several years.”

Aldrich’s biological father, Aaron Brink, divorced the shooter’s mother in 2001, and all indications suggest Aldrich was raised during early childhood by the mother, Laura Voepel — daughter of former California Rep. Randy Voepel.

Randy Voepel

Aldrich spent much of their time in recent years living with their maternal grandmother and step-grandfather, Pamela and Jonathan Pullen, in the Colorado Springs area before they moved to Florida in late 2021. It is unknown where Aldrich has been living recently.

In June 2021, Aldrich was booked into the El Paso County jail on two counts of felony menacing and three counts of kidnapping after a bomb threat and standoff at his mother’s home. Surveillance of the event shows Aldrich telling their mother, “This is the day I die. They don’t give a f*** about me any more. Clearly,” in reference to the grandparents’ move to Florida.

Mom and Dad

Aaron Brink, 48, was starting his career as a mixed-martial arts fighter when he divorced Laura Voepel. He still lives in California.

When Aldrich was nine, Aaron Brink started his porn career, acting under the name Dick Delaware.

According to IMDb, the adult film industry led him to abuse drugs, including crystal meth. He appeared in 2009 on the reality show Intervention, when his then fiancee begged him to quit drugs. In 2011, Brink appeared on another reality show, Divorce Court, featuring his divorce from a porn actress. In 2016, Brink was arrested for trying to shoplift a BB gun.

When Aldrich was 11 in 2012, Laura Voepel committed arson in San Antonio, according to Bexar County court records. Security footage from Baptist Medical Center in San Antonio showed she was the only one in the room who could have started the fire. A licensed psychologist concluded that she suffered from severe borderline personality disorder and alcohol dependence, among other issues, records show. The charges were reduced, Voepel was sentenced to five years probation, but she never completed probation.

Denver Gazette, CNN, US News, and Heavy

Who will be Trump' running mate?