The suspect and mother of the Club Q shooting allegedly used racist insults during the flight in July


A suspect accused of killing five people at an LGBT+ nightclub and the suspect’s mother allegedly used racial slurs against a Hispanic family and a black man during a flight to Denver in July.

An airline passenger cell phone video obtained by local news outlet KDVR TUSEN 31 appears to show mass shooting suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich and Aldrich’s mother Laura Voepel during a confrontation at the airport on July 31.

Maria Martinez told the outlet that she started filming after Aldrich made a racist remark to her as they exited the plane.

As she continues filming, a person believed to be Aldrich tells her, “If you keep following me, I’m going to prank you.”

Ms Martinez said she and her daughter Kayla immediately recognized Aldrich as the person accused of killing five people and injuring 18 others at a Colorado Springs LGBT+ nightclub on Saturday night.

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Family friend Tanya De La O, who was traveling with the family, claims Ms Voepel started using racist language after the Frontier Airlines plane landed.

She told TUSEN 31: “I was struggling to get my luggage down (from the luggage compartment), and all of a sudden I just hear this woman say, ‘Hurry up. You bastard.’ And then I turned around and said, “Excuse me?”

Ms De La O said a black man tried to de-escalate but Aldrich reportedly lashed out with a racist response.

“He also told him to keep ‘shut the f*** up, you f****** n*****-‘,” Ms De La O said.

Ms Martinez said Aldrich acted “very hateful” and was “bad”.

“I could just feel the hate,” his daughter added. “It seems like he has hatred deep in his heart.”

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Ms. Martinez said she tried to complain to the Frontier Airlines crew but “felt they were unwilling to get involved and told her to call customer service when she got off the plane,” according to TUSEN 11. She claims the airline refused to take her complaint over the phone and asked for one to be made in writing.

TUSEN has solicited comment from Ms. Voepel and Frontier Airlines.

The video and comments from airline passengers tie in with several media reports that string together details about the suspect’s life and relationships with family members.

That’s what a former friend and neighbor told me The everyday beast that Aldrich “would get into a fight” with their mother “because he would say hateful things about the one he was mad at”.

“He sometimes said things that probably should have been alarming to me. He used the term “f*****” a lot. Usually it came out of anger,” says Xavier Kraus.

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In June 2021, then 21-year-old Aldrich allegedly threatened Ms. Voepel with a homemade bomb, forcing neighbors to evacuate their homes as law enforcement and crisis negotiators responded to the incident.

According to a press release from the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, Ms. Voepel had called 911 at the time to report that her child “threatened to harm her with a homemade bomb, multiple guns, and ammunition.” The standoff reportedly lasted three hours.

On Wednesday, Aldrich appeared in court for the first time via a video stream. The 22-year-old suspect remains in custody without bail; Prosecutors are finalizing the charges, which likely include five counts of first-degree murder with attachments to hate crimes.

A next hearing date has been set for December 6.


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