MMA-fighter-turned-porn-actor Aaron Franklin Brink had an immediate reaction when he learned his 22-year-old son had been accused of slaughtering five people and injuring 18 others last weekend in a mass shooting at a Colorado Springs nightspot catering to the LGBTQ community.
A defense attorney called Sunday night and told Brink, who lives in Southern California, that Anderson Lee Aldrich was under arrest for the massacre at Club Q.
“They started telling me about the incident, a shooting involving multiple people,” Brink said Tuesday in an interview outside his San Diego home with CBS 8. “And then I go on to find 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, who has appeared in such films as My MILF Boss 8, I Wanna Get Titty Fucked, and Latina Slut Academy, told CBS 8, “You know Mormons don’t do gay. We don’t do gay. There’s no gays in the Mormon church. We don’t do gay.” (The Mormon Church has confirmed that Aldrich was a member but had not been active in some time.)
In a court filing late Tuesday, lawyers for Aldrich, who in 2016 changed his name from Nicholas Franklin Brink to escape his father’s sordid past, said Aldrich is non-binary, saying “they use they/them pronouns.”
However, booking records list Aldrich’s gender as male. Additionally, in text messages from the day of the shooting, which were shown to The Daily Beast by a source close to Aldrich, Aldrich’s mother referred to her son as he and him.
The Daily Beast was unable to reach Brink for comment. A call Wednesday morning to a number in Brink’s wife’s name was answered by a woman who declined to give her name but said she was a “relative.”
“We’re just taking it one day at a time,” she told The Daily Beast. “There is nothing really to do, after everything’s said and done.”
Aldrich allegedly opened fire at Club Q shortly before midnight on Nov. 19 before being subdued by two bystanders. Aldrich was initially hospitalized with unspecified injuries but was transferred to the El Paso County jail on Tuesday, according to authorities.
Aldrich, Brink, and Aldrich’s mother, Laura Voepel, have long raised red flags among others in the family, a relative told The Daily Beast shortly after Aldrich’s arrest.
“I don’t want anything to do with that part of the family,” the relative said, asking that their name not be used to avoid becoming tangled up with them again. “They’ve always had issues, a lot of problems… I’m totally disgusted by that side of the family right now.”
In Brink’s interview with CBS 8, he apologized for Aldrich’s alleged actions, saying there’s “no excuse for going and killing people. If you’re killing people, there’s something wrong. It’s not the answer.”
At the same time, Brink, a recovering methamphetamine user who once appeared on the reality show Intervention, said he “praised [Aldrich] for violent behavior really early. I told him it works. It is instant and you’ll get immediate results.”
Brink also said he didn’t realize Aldrich was still alive, telling CBS 8 that Voepel called him in 2016 and said their son had changed their name to Anderson Lee Aldrich, then died by suicide.
“I thought he was dead,” Brink said. “I mourned his loss. I had gone through a meltdown 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 porno actor.”
A notarized affidavit filed in a Texas court almost exactly a month before Aldrich, still Nicholas Brink, turned 16, states, “Minor wishes to protect himself + his future from his birth father + his criminal history. Father has had no contact with minor for several years.”
Six months ago, Brink said a very-much-alive Aldrich called him out of the blue. The two hadn’t spoken in six years, but the conversation quickly devolved into a sparring match, according to Brink.
“He’s pissed off,” Brink, who described himself in the interview as a conservative Republican, told CBS 8. “He’s pissed off at me. He wants to poke at the old man.”
Even before the Club Q shooting, Aldrich had been accused of using violence.
Last year, Aldrich was arrested after cops said they threatened to blow up the Colorado Springs house where Voepel was living. The charges were later dropped, and Colorado’s red flag laws, which would have allowed cops to seize Aldrich’s guns, were apparently not triggered. (The rifle used in the Club Q shooting was bought legally, according to reports.)
Brink, who did federal time in the late 1990s for marijuana importation, said he still loves Aldrich in light of the accusations, and offered an apology to the victims.
“I’m sorry for your loss,” he told CBS 8. “Life is so fragile and it’s valuable. Those people’s lives were valuable. You know, they’re valuable. They’re good people, probably. It’s not something you kill somebody over. I’m sorry I let my son down.”
Aldrich made his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon. He was ordered held without bail.