The father of the accused mass shooter of a Colorado gay nightclub said Tuesday he thought his son died by suicide until about a year ago and apologized for letting his son down.
Aaron Brink, 48, told KFMB-TV in San Diego, where he lives, that in 2016, his ex-wife, Laura Voepel, called to tell him his son Nicholas had changed his name to Anderson Aldrich and killed himself.
"I thought he was dead. I mourned his loss. I had gone through a meltdown and thought I had lost my son," Brink told the TV station. The Denver Post reported Brink knew about his son's name change because he signed his son's petition in May 2016, when Aldrich was living in San Antonio.
Aldrich is being held in El Paso County Jail in Colorado Springs without bail, facing murder and hate crime charges after he allegedly gunned down five people and injured 18 at the Club Q nightclub on Saturday night.
Aldrich was born in San Diego as Nicholas Brink in 2000, but his parents divorced in 2001, and he reportedly changed his name in 2016, shortly before his 16th birthday. Aaron Brink said his ex-wife told him his son changed his name because Brink was on the reality TV show "Intervention," which focuses on people addicted to drugs and alcohol, and participated in the adult film industry.
Brink told the TV station he thought his son was dead until he received a call from him last year. He said his son was angry with him.
"He wanted to take a poke at the old man," Brink said.
Brink, who described himself as a follower of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said he received a call earlier this week from someone on his son's legal team, and wondered why his son would be at such an establishment.
He said he was shocked when he learned more details about the massacre.
"Life is just so fragile, it's so valuable," he said. "Those people's lives were so valuable, they were good people, probably. It's not something worth killing people over."
Brink, a former mixed-martial arts (MMA) fighter who is now an MMA instructor, said he loves his son "no matter what."
"I'm sorry I let my son down," he said.
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