U.S. NewsCrime


Former Neighbor Recalls Colorado Suspect's Comments On Gay People

A former neighbor of the man suspected of killing five and injured more at a Colorado Springs gay bar discusses his experiences with the suspect.
Posted at 8:50 PM, Nov 21, 2022

The release of the Colorado Springs shooting suspect's name sparked a horrifying realization for Xavier Kraus.

"When they said the name Anderson Lee Aldrich, I just screamed — like what? — I was just in shock” Kraus said.

Aldrich and his mother, Laura Voepel, lived just across the hall from Kraus in Colorado Springs for nearly a year.  

"Andy and I bonded over computers, technology, games and Pokémon," Kraus said.

While Kraus admits Aldrich had a temper, Kraus never expected to hear his name next to the words "suspect" or "gunman."

NEWSY'S ADI GUAJARDO: How does it make you feel to think that the person you called a friend, that you let into your apartment, that you played games with, is accused of doing this to a community, to your community? 

XAVIER KRAUS: Makes me sick to my stomach. It breaks my heart, I think, that I could have been friends with somebody like that.

Kraus describes his former neighbor as a little off, a little odd, paranoid even. 

"He's socially just not there, doesn't pick up on social cues since he's really awkward." Kraus said.

Kraus says the suspect slept in the living room of the apartment he shared with his mother and recalls seeing a weapon inside that apartment. 

"Big old assault rifle — he'd even custom modified it himself using a 3D printer," Kraus said. "He made a custom magazine and, if I remember correctly, even a custom stock on it as well."

Kraus also remembers racist comments and on one instance an outburst about gay people.

"If my memory serves me correctly, I do believe I remember at one point, at least one specific time, where he literally said that he hated the gays," Kraus said. "I didn't take it like he hated them like that. I felt like most of the hatred that came out of his mouth was more towards race." 

Aldrich is in custody and facing murder and hate crimes charges. He's the lone suspect in the allegedly targeted shooting at Club Q that left at least five people dead and more than two dozen injured.

"It doesn't take much for people to realize that there were some intentionality about going to this particular place and trying carry out some really devastating mayhem and kill people," Michael Allen, district attorney of Colorado's 4th judicial district, told Newsy.

There are growing questions about the suspect and whether he should have been flagged and prevented from buying firearms. But, witnesses and police say that "devastating mayhem" could have been even worse if not for heroes springing into action.

Richard Fierro, an Army veteran, reportedly took the gunman's handgun and hit him with it.

As the community grieves and even fights back tears, Kraus hopes justice can prevail and provide closure for a community hurting.