F.B.I. The F.B.I. is looking for information about two websites related to last month’s shooting at a Colorado LGBTQ nightclub that left five dead and 17 others hurt, a former neighbor and friend told NBC News.
Xavier Kraus, a former neighbor, stated that an FBI agent asked him about two websites at an FBI branch office in Colorado Springs. This was after an earlier call by an agent.
Kraus claimed that he told investigators that one of the websites was created by Anderson Lee Aldrich (22), who was indicted Tuesday for 305 criminal charges, including first degree murder and bias-motivated crime in the mass shooting at Club Q, Colorado Springs, just before midnight on November 19.
Aldrich allegedly created the website as a forum-type site for “free speech”, where anonymous posters of racist and antisemitic videos, language, and memes.
The homepage features a video titled “Wrong Targets”, which advocates the killing of civilians as part a larger effort “to assassinate elites at the top” to “cleanse” the society.
The homepage link that says “Visit Our Brother Website!” leads to a webpage that links to four videos in two formats. These appear to have been uploaded during the hours preceding the shooting.
Two videos of the Toyota’s interior at night are shown. One shows the dashboard clock reading 11:44 and the other shows the person who recorded the video saying “OK”, before closing it. Local police began receiving 911 calls about a shooting at Club Q at 11:56 p.m.
The videos seem to have been shot between 9:28 and 11:43 p.m. ET on the night of shooting. Although it is not clear who recorded or posted the videos one frame of the 11:44 video shows what looks like Aldrich’s reflection in the rearview mirror.
According to an archive of that page, NBC News viewed the video.
Aldrich’s public defenders didn’t respond immediately to NBC News’s request for comment.
A spokesperson for the FBI’s Denver Field Office stated that the “Denver FBI Field Office”, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and National Security Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado were aware of the circumstances surrounding the shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs. They will review all facts to determine the federal response.” Colorado Springs police did not respond to a request for comment.
According to public records Kraus lived just one door from Aldrich in an apartment complex in Colorado Springs. He said that he told Aldrich that he created the free speech website in the late spring or early Summer. Kraus stated that Aldrich called the site “a platform where people can go and post pretty much anything they want.”
Kraus stated, “At that time, I was like OK, I can kinda get behind that. I guess not really understanding what it was going into.” He said that Aldrich and his attorneys have stated that the site is not binary and they/them pronouns. Aldrich also said that they visited the site at Aldrich’s apartment approximately two to three times after it was launched. Aldrich once claimed that they had forgotten how to moderate content that was added by others.
Kraus stated that many of the current posts, including racist content, weren’t there when he visited the site with Aldrich. The site’s homepage displays a message that states “There are two rules.” There is NO CP or SPAMMING, with “CP” presumably referring child pornography.
Kraus stated that agents inquired about whether Aldrich had posted the video “Wrong Targets”, which was on the homepage. Kraus claimed that he told the agents that Aldrich posted the video on the homepage. However, he could not confirm that Aldrich had posted the video.
Kraus was also asked by the FBI about the “brother website” which contained the video links. He said that he didn’t know anything about it. Kraus claimed that an agent tried unsuccessfully to access the site from a laptop while Kraus worked in the field office. A subsequent text message between Kraus, the agent and Kraus also showed that the agent could not open the site at that time.
One of the videos seems to zoom in quickly on the interior of an apartment. Kraus confirmed that the apartment in the video was the one Aldrich lived in when he and were neighbors.
The video is blacked out throughout. One of the videos was recorded inside the vehicle. The person who recorded it says, “Shoutout for professional seven sins.” The car’s dashboard clock shows 10:06.
Kraus stated that the voice in the videos “sounds very, very much like Aldrich,” but could not confirm it with absolute certainty.
Kraus answered Aldrich’s question about the “professional 7 sins” comment, saying that they were both familiar with the online community Se7en Sins Gaming Community. However, Kraus wasn’t sure what the remark meant. The name of one of the administrators of this online community is “Professional.”
This remark could have been made to refer to online gaming and was not the first time that a mass shooter has made such a reference. Brenton Tarrant was the 2019 shooter who killed 51 people in Christchurch, New Zealand. He said in a livestream that “subscribe to PewDiePie,” a reference to a popular YouTuber, who posted videos of him playing video games.
Aldrich was subdued by three club patrons soon after the shooting started and was later arrested by authorities. Aldrich is currently being held without bond.
Kraus stated that he feels a “tremendous amount” of guilt since the shooting. Kraus said he didn’t challenge Aldrich for making racist or homophobic remarks, such as stating that they “hate Faggots,” since Aldrich was an “angry person” who also owned firearms.
Kraus stated, “I know this wasn’t something I did,” but said that he felt terrible knowing that he knew someone and had made friends with someone that could do such a horrible thing. It could have been me. Who knows what could’ve happened. Some nights, I cry.