Two weeks before his 16th birthday, the man accused of murdering five people in a Colorado nightclub changed his name to distance himself from his father and an extremely troubled childhood. On May 2, 2016, according to Texas court records, Nicholas Franklin Brink became Anderson Lee Aldrich.
His upbringing is marked by a biological father with a criminal history who dabbled in drugs and worked in the porn industry and a mother with multiple arrests in California and Texas. The two parents separated while Aldrich was a toddler.
Aldrich’s difficult childhood and earlier existence as Nicholas Brink offer the first clues to the mysteries of who the suspected gunman was, though it is unclear yet if his tumultuous childhood is related in any way to the attack at Club Q in Colorado Springs. Shortly before he changed his name, the suspected shooter apparently was a target of online bullying and showed signs of a fascination with gay culture.
A petition for the name change obtained by The Denver Gazette shows the reason for the name change handwritten by his biological grandmother, Pamela Pullen, was "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, his biological grandmother and step-grandfather, Pamela and Jonathan Pullen and his mother, Laura Voepel, all signed the petition. Under her signature, Voepel crossed out the word "petitioner" and hand-wrote "birth mother." Aldrich's biological father, Aaron Brink, gave written permission for the name change. "I am the birth father of Nicholas Franklin Brink and I have been advised of the petition to change the legal name of my son," the document states with a signature and the date of 4/18/2016.
Pamela Pullen signed her name as Aldrich's legal guardian.
Aldrich spent much of his time in recent years living with his maternal grandmother and step-grandfather, Pamela and Jonathan Pullen, in the Colorado Springs area before they moved to Florida in late 2021, according to Pamela Pullen's Facebook page, which has since been taken down.
On June 18, 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. On a neighborhood doorbell surveillance video obtained by The Gazette, Aldrich can be heard saying to his mother, "This is the day I die. They don't give a f--- about me any more. Clearly." A relative told The Gazette that he was referring to the Pullens and their decision to move.
Aldrich was jailed but formal charges never were filed and the case has been sealed.
It's unknown where he has been living for most of 2022, leading up to Saturday night's shooting.