Watch CBS News

Colorado Springs shooting suspect got guns back after 2021 incident, former friend says

The Club Q suspected gunman had previous experience with law enforcement
The Club Q suspected gunman had previous experience with law enforcement 02:16

A former neighbor and friend of the suspected gunman in the Club Q shooting says Anderson Lee Aldrich got his guns back following an incident in which he was arrested last year involving a threat he allegedly made against his mother. 

Aldrich, 22, lived with his mother Laurel Voepel across the hall from Xavier Kraus. Kraus told CBS News Colorado's Rick Sallinger he only heard Aldrich use an anti-gay slur on one occasion.

"It didn't come off as true hate like, 'I'm gonna go kill these people,'" Kraus said.

Kraus says Aldrich confided that he was a former drug user.

"He was addicted to opium and opened up about a previous heroin addiction," Kraus said. 

The suspected gunman told Kraus about an incident last year in which police arrested him on a call of threatening his mother with a bomb and firearms.

"Apparently he was charged with kidnapping his mother," Kraus said. "[Neither] his mother or his mom's mom - they didn't want any charges pressed against Andy."

The threat incident happened when Aldrich's mother was renting and staying with Leslie Bowman. She shared security camera footage with CBS News Colorado of a man she said was Aldrich entering and leaving her home and that police were involved.

"She didn't tell me specifically that the police were looking for him," Bowman said. "I just kind of put that together from reading between the lines and I called the police and let them know he was here."

The charges against Aldrich were eventually dropped and the case against him sealed. Kraus says Aldrich got his guns back

"We had a conversation that time too about, you know, I expressed my fear of guns," Kraus said. "He tried to assure me, 'it's not the gun you have to be afraid of, bro. It's the people behind the gun.'"

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.