When Aaron Franklin Brink, the father of accused Colorado Springs gunman Anderson Lee Aldrich, was told about the mass murder at a gay bar, his reaction was very visceral.
“They started telling me about the incident, a shooting involving multiple people,” Brink said in an interview outside his San Diego home with CBS 8 on Tuesday. “And then I found out it’s a gay bar. I said, ‘ God, is he gay?’ I got scared, ‘Shit, is he gay?’ And he’s not gay, so I said, ‘Phhhewww…'”
Brink is an MMA fighter turned porn actor who has appeared in movies like “I Wanna Get Titty Fucked” and “Latina Slut Academy.” He is also a Mormon, telling CBS 8, “You know, Mormons don’t do gays. We don’t do gays. There are no gays in the Mormon church. We don’t do gays.”
The Mormon Church confirmed to The Daily Beast that Aldrich was a member, but had been out of action for some time.
The Daily Beast adds that lawyers for Aldrich, who changed their name from Nicholas Franklin Brink in 2016 to escape their father’s sordid past, said in a court hearing late Tuesday that Aldrich is non-binary. adding “they use they/they pronouns.”
However, the booking records state that Aldrich’s gender is male. Additionally, in text messages from the day of the shooting, shown to The Daily Beast by a source close to Aldrich, Aldrich’s mother referred to her son as ‘he’ and ‘him’.’, the outlet adds.
The Daily Beast reached out to Brink for comment and spoke to someone on Brink’s current wife’s number who declined to identify herself. “We’re taking it day by day,” she told The Daily Beast. “There’s really nothing to do after all is said and done.”
Aldrich reportedly opened fire on Club Q shortly before midnight on Nov. 19 before being suppressed by two bystanders. Aldrich was initially hospitalized with unspecified injuries but was transferred to El Paso jail on Tuesday, according to authorities Counties.”
Brink apologized in the CBS 8 interview for his son’s behavior, saying that there is “no excuse to go and kill people. When you kill people, something is wrong. It’s not the answer.”
The Daily Beast adds that Brink, a recovering methamphetamine user who once appeared on the reality show “Intervention,” said at the same time that he “praised [Aldrich] for violent behavior very early. I told him it works. It’s instant and you get instant results.”
Aldrich had legally changed their name from Nicholas Brink a month before their 16th birthday, Texas court documents show. “The minor wants to protect himself + his future against his biological father + his criminal past. Father has not had any contact with the minor for several years.”
The Washington Post reports that they were known as Nicholas Brink until age 15, living in San Antonio, public records show. Their parents separated when they were toddlers, and when they were 12, their mother, Laura Voepel, was arrested on suspicion of arson, according to court documents. She was later found guilty of a lesser offense related to the same incident.
At the time (2016) of the name change, his ex-wife Voepel called him and said that their son had changed their name to Anderson Lee Aldrich and then committed suicide.
“I thought he was dead,” Brink said. “I mourned his loss. I had gone through a crisis and thought I had lost my son… His mother told me he changed his name because I was in ‘Intervention’ and I had been a porn actor.”
But six months ago, his son contacted Brink. The two had not spoken to each other for six years, but the conversation quickly turned into a sparring match, says Brink.
“He’s pissed off,” Brink, who described himself as a conservative Republican in the interview, told CBS 8. “He’s pissed at me. He wants to poke the old man.”
Aldrich appeared in court for the first time on Wednesday afternoon. They were held without bail. They were arrested last year after police threatened to blow up Voepel’s home in Colorado Springs. The charges were dropped. Without charges, Colorado’s red flag laws, which would have allowed police to seize Aldrich’s guns, could not be triggered. The weapons used in the attack were purchased legally, according to reports.
The Daily Beast adds that Brink said he still loves Aldrich in light of the allegations, and apologized to the victims.
“I’m sorry for your loss,” he told CBS 8. “Life is so fragile and precious. Those people’s lives were precious. You know, they’re precious. They’re probably good people. It’s not something that kill someone. I’m sorry I let my son down.”