Colorado suspect Anderson Aldrich used anti-gay slurs: neighbor

The suspect in the deadly shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado allegedly used anti-gay slurs – saying coolly, “It’s not the gun you need to be afraid of, it’s the people,” a neighbor said.

Xavier Kraus told the Daily Beast that Anderson Lee Aldrich enjoyed going to a shooting range with his mother, Laura Voepel, where “rapid fire” was allowed.

Kraus said he spoke to Aldrich about the dangers of firearms, but he replied, “It’s not the gun to be afraid of, it’s the people.”

He said Aldrich “had this idea that eventually we would go on a range and he [would] Teach me some gun safety and go out and shoot some target practice.”

“We never got around to doing that. But this conversation just suits me because I know how I felt when I saw the gun and he showed it to me. He said, ‘It’s all legal. I can totally have that.’ It was an assault rifle type weapon,” Kraus told the outlet.

Anderson Lee Aldrich on a doorbell camera
Suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich was free and heavily armed, despite being arrested last year for allegedly making bomb threats.

Kraus, who said he once considered the accused shooter a friend, also acknowledged that Aldrich “sometimes said things that probably should have alarmed me,” including a vile homophobic slur.

“He often used the term ‘f—-t’. Mostly it came out of anger,” he told the news outlet.

The neighbor also recalled a time when Aldrich called a woman he was upset with “shooting his gun.”

“And this was one of those times when his mom was like, ‘Andy, oh my god, no, you can’t say that,'” Kraus said.

Mourners hold candlelight vigil for victims of Club Q shooting.
Community mourns victims of mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs.
AFP via Getty Images
A memorial to the victims of the Club Q shooting.
A memorial to the victims of the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs.
Getty Images

In a separate interview, Kraus said Aldrich confided that he was a former drug user.

“He was addicted to opium and has been open about a past heroin addiction,” he told CBS News.

Aldrich, 22, faces five counts of murder and five counts of committing a prejudice-motivated felony involving assault in connection with Saturday night’s shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs that killed five and injured dozens.

He is said to have used an AR-15 rifle in the killing spree, officials said.

Bloodstained clothing can be seen on the ground near Club Q
Officials believe Aldrich used an AR-15 style gun in the massacre.
AFP via Getty Images

Last year he was arrested for allegedly making a bomb threat against his mother, who reported him for “threatening to harm her with a homemade bomb, multiple guns and ammunition,” police said.

No formal charges have been filed in the case, which was reportedly sealed. Colorado suspect Anderson Aldrich used anti-gay slurs: neighbor


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