Years before he allegedly walked into a Colorado LGBTQ bar with an assault-style rifle, the man now known as Anderson Lee Aldrich had a different name, and a tumultuous past.
Until age 15, he was known as Nicholas Brink, living in San Antonio, public records show. His parents separated when he was a toddler, and when he was 12, his mother, Laura Voepel, was arrested for suspected arson, according to court documents. She was later found guilty of a lesser offense in connection with the same incident.
At age 15, he became the target of a particularly vicious bout of online bullying in which insulting accusations were posted to a website, along with his name, photos and online aliases, according to a review of the site by The Washington Post. At some point, a YouTube account was created under his name, featuring a crude, profanity-laden animation under the title, “Asian homosexual gets molested.”
For unstated reasons, just before his 16th birthday, the young man petitioned a Texas court — with two of his grandparents’ names on the document — to legally change his entire name. His mother’s name did not appear on the petition.