During Anderson Aldrich’s 22 years, his family led a gypsy-like existence hop-scotching between California, Colorado, Texas and back to Colorado again. His grandparents, who had a big part in raising Aldrich, left him behind when they moved to Florida in fall, 2021. Records show that his life started with an early divorce followed by series of family squabbles and a checkered educational history.
The Gazette relied on court records, witness reports, social media posts and citizen videos to create a timeline which begins in eastern San Diego County, Calif., in 1991. That’s when John William Pullen married Pamela Colleen Voepel, an at least two-time divorcee. One of those failed marriages was to a California assemblyman and former mayor of Santee, Calif., with whom she had two teenaged daughters.
Pamela brought her daughters into the Pullen marriage, one of whom is the alleged Club Q assailant’s mother, Laura Voepel.
Aldrich, Voepel’s first-born son, is accused of killing 5 people and injuring at least 17 more in Colorado’s most recent shooting, which occurred over midnight Nov. 19-20, 2022.
This is the timeline of a fractured family decades before the alleged assailant opened fire inside Colorado Springs’ Club Q.
NOTE: Up until hours before the shooting, Aldrich’s mother referred to her son as a male using the pronouns “he/him.” It wasn’t until a court filing by his defense attorneys that he was referred to as non-binary, taking the plural pronouns they/them. For that reason, this timeline will refer to the suspect as his family did: “he/him.”
End of summer 1991
Pamela and John Pullen married in El Cajon, Calif. Relatives say that Pam, who was divorced from California Assemblyman Randy Voepel, was John’s first serious romantic relationship. Laura Voepel and her sister, Leza, were teenagers at the time of their mother’s marriage to John Pullen. Their father is Assemblyman Voepel. Little is known about their relationship with him.
Not long after they were married, relatives say John Pullen became Jonathan Pullen at the request of his wife, Pam.
Aaron Brink and Laura Voepel married.
May 20, 2000
Nicholas Franklin Brink was born, the only child of Aaron and Laura Brink.
Aaron and Laura Brink divorced. Laura takes her maiden name, Voepel, and continued to be known as Laura Voepel.
Nov. 28, 2001
Two month’s later, Aaron Brink’s mother, Helen Brink, files a restraining order against her former daughter-in-law, Laura Voepel. The restraining order is granted for a three-year period.
Nov. 29, 2001
The next day, Laura Voepel files her own restraining order against her former mother-in-law, Deborah Brink. The restraining order is granted for a three-year period.
According to divorce records, Laura Voepel requested child support because she was unemployed and pregnant by a man other than Brink. Brink is ordered to pay Voepel $300 per month and is denied visitation with Nicholas, then 7 years old.
July 13, 2007
Voepel’s second child, Weston, the alleged gunman’s half-brother, was born, according to a Facebook post by Voepel. Relatives say that the child’s father was given custody.
According to relatives, Jonathan and Pam Pullen move from Murietta, Calif., to Denver where they live in an apartment at 8155 East Fairmount Drive. Records and family information corroborate the April 2010 date.
Relatives say that Nick Brink’s grandparents, Jonathan and Pamela Pullen, have taken on the duties of raising Nick, Laura Voepel’s son. They live in Denver for around two years.
The Pullens, Nick Brink and Laura Voepel moved to San Antonio, Texas, to be closer to Laura’s full sister, Leza who is now married and has established her own family.
Nick Brink enrolls in 5th grade at Tuscany Heights Elementary School for one month in San Antonio’s Northeast Independent School District
From fall of 2012 until Oct. 2015, according to NEISD spokesman Aubrey Chancellor, Brink attended middle school sporadically. “He would be enrolled for a couple of months, then leave for months at a time,” wrote Chancellor in an email. Chancellor was asked if there was any indication that the suspect was bullied during his time in San Antonio and she said in a one word email “No.”
Jan. 14, 2012
Laura Voepel commits arson in San Antonio and is jailed for an unknown amount of time. Brink is now 11 years old.
Voepel’s arson charge is reduced and she is sentenced to a five-year probation period, which Bexar County, Texas, records show she did not legally complete.
2013-2014 school year
Around this time, Brink starts his 7th grade year at NEISD’s Bush Middle School. He is 13 years old.
Nicholas Brink withdraws from NEISD – Johnson High school. According to family, Brink is then home schooled. There is no record that he was enrolled in formal education after October of his freshman year of high school.
April 28, 2016
Nicholas Brink petitioned to change his name to Anderson Lee Aldrich, according to Bexar County civil records.
May 2, 2016
Nicholas Brink was granted a name change. From here on out, he is known as Anderson Lee Aldrich. Relatives said he chose the name for the acronym “A.L.A.” but did not know its significance.
Sometime in 2016, Laura Voepel called Aaron Brink to falsely assert that their son, now Anderson Lee Aldrich, had committed suicide, according to a 11/20/2022 TV interview with Brink recorded by a San Diego television station.
Around this timein San Antonio, Aldricht punched Jonathan Pullen in the face, relatives say. Pullen, who suffered a concussion, told emergency room personnel that he fell down the stairs according to family sources.
June 7, 2018
Courts records show that while the Pullens lived in Texas, Pam Pullen filed for bankruptcy in a California court.
The bankruptcy is shown as “discharged.”
April 11, 2019
The Pullen’s bought a house in unincorporated El Paso County, Colo. The home, on Rubicon Drive, cost $330,260 according to El Paso County Assessor records.
June 16 or 17, 2021
Relative who wished to go unnamed told The Gazette that Jonathan Pullen called, crying and afraid for his life, hiding from Aldrich in a closet. The frantic relative told the FBI that Aldrich was dangerous and had been threatening his grandfather, Jonathan Pullen.
The FBI took a report and instructed the relative to contact Colorado Springs law enforcement. The relative repeated these concerns about Aldrich to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department. Relative asked deputies to please check the home on Rubicon Drive, where Aldrich lived in the basement.
June 16 or 17, 2021
Following the call from the relative, El Paso County law enforcement visited the Rubicon Drive home and was told Aldrich was asleep. According to family, Pam and Jonathan Pullen sent law enforcement away, telling deputies that they were planning to move to Florida.
Within minutes following the house call, law enforcement phoned the reporting relative and reassured that person that Anderson’s grandparents were OK, that everything was fine, family reported to The Gazette.
Family who spoke with Jonathan Pullen after the incident said that Aldrich overheard the comment and about moving to Florida and became unhinged, as this was the first he’d heard of the planned move. Family said he upset because he knew that marijuana was not legal in Florida.
June 18, 2021
El Paso County deputies were sent to the Rubicon Drive address on a bomb threat, as reported in the arrest affidavit and press release.
According to those documents, deputies were responding to a call from Pam Pullen who told them that Aldrich was making bombs in the basement. She said he told her that he was “going to be the next mass killer” and that he wanted to “go out in a blaze.” She also advised deputies that the suspect had been threatening to kill them.
Aldrich is later located at his mother, Laura Voepel’s, home on Pilgrimage Drive where deputies said Voepel was “not cooperative.” Later, as SWAT is setting up outside the house, Voepel ran out and said that her son had let her go, according to the affidavit.
After a three hour negotiation, Aldrich surrenders. Deputies then search of the Rubicon Drive home and find items “consistent with bomb-making materials.”
Aldrich was jailed that evening and given an elevated bond of $1,000,000 by Judge Michael McHenry.
July 11, 2021
Voepel sends out a plea for a recommendation for a defense attorney on a Facebook page dedicated to local women of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints called Sisters of Colorado Springs, telling the group, “I say this with a heavy heart but my family really needs some help at this time. We have cash to retain good counsel.”
July 20, 2021
Rubicon Drive house sold for $464,900. Relatives say that Pam and Jonathan Pullen sold their home to help bail Aldrich out and to pay a defense attorney.
Aug- Nov. 2021
Sometime following the sale of the Rubicon Drive home, Jonathan and Pam Pullen move to Ormond Beach, Fla. A November 2021 Facebook post by Pam Pullen showed a photo of their new home in Florida.
Now that the grandparents no longer live in Colorado, family says Laura Voepel and her son move to an apartment on North Nevada Avenue in Colorado Springs.
July 31, 2022
Voepel and Aldrich get in altercation with passengers aboard a flight home from a visit with Pam and Jonathan Pullen. The passengers use a phone to record the two of them being belligerent, as first reported by Fox 31.
Aug. 31, 2022
Aldrich called a Colorado Springs Gazette editor asking the paper to remove a story from the paper’s archives published about the June 2021 bomb threat. A reporter called Aldrich back to assess whether the paper should do so. He told the reporter that the story was hampering his ability to find a job. Editors decided to leave the story online but removed the suspect’s name from the text after confirming the case had been sealed.
Around Nov. 16, 2022
In a post on Laura Voepel’s Facebook page, which has since been taken down, a comment said that even when life throws a curve ball, things work out “if you are tough enough.” The post went on to say “I love my free speech and I can’t say what I want to here.”
Nov. 19, 2022
Sometime before 10 p.m., another post on Voepel’s Facebook page frantically begged friends for help. “My son is missing,” it said. “We made plans to go to a movie at 10 and he ran to go run a quick errand. I have been dressed up for two hours, and I am so concerned.” It continues, “He took MY PHONE and my debit card … if he was trying to avoid me (not likely) he wouldn’t have told me to get ready to have the best night ever!”
Colorado Springs police get a 911 call that an active shooter is inside Club Q
Nov. 20, 2022
12:02 a.m. Colorado Springs police report gunman in custody.
12:10 a.m. Alleged gunman booked by the El Paso Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff’s report that the suspect is admitted to the hospital.
3:30 a.m. A Colorado Springs police report says 45-year-old Laura Voepel, the suspect’s mother, was creating a disturbance outside of the apartment where she and her son lived together on North Union Boulevard. A police summons stated that Voepel was making “unreasonable noise next to multiple apartments” and was “warned multiple times to stop yelling or she would be arrested.” In a citizen video of the arrest, as she is dragged away by police, Voepel is screaming, “My son died tonight!”
Court dockets showed her first appearance is scheduled for Jan. 25 at 10:00 am.
Tuesday, Nov. 22
Suspect is moved from the hospital to El Paso County jail.
Court filings allege that Aldrich is non-binary and should be referred to with the pronouns “they” and “their.” From here on out, defense filings refer to alleged assailant as “Mx. Aldrich.”
Wednesday, Nov. 23
Suspect appears in court slumped over in a chair with obvious wounds to their head and neck. When asked to say their name they appear to struggle to form the words. They were given no bond and are being held on 10 arrest-only charges: Five counts of first-degree murder and five count of committing a bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury. District Attorney Michael Allen announced Friday that he will likely file more charges by the suspect’s next appearance, Dec. 6.
Gazette reporters Mary Shinn and Julia Cardi contributed to this report