SAN DIEGO — Until six months ago, Aaron Brink thought his son died by suicide.
Brink said his ex-wife called him from Colorado in 2016 to tell him their son, Nicholas Brink, had changed his name to Anderson Aldrich, and had 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 CBS 8.
When Brink asked his ex-wife why their son had changed his name, she blamed it on the father’s involvement in a reality TV show called Intervention, as well as his acting career in the adult film industry.
“His mother told me he changed his name because I was in Intervention and I had been a porno actor,” said Brink.
For six years Brink believed his son was dead, until Aldrich unexpectedly called his father six months ago, and started arguing with him over the phone.
“He’s pissed off. He's pissed off at me. He wants to poke at the old man,” Brink recalled.
Then, two days ago, Brink got a call from his son's defense attorneys, telling him Aldrich was involved in a shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs.
Brink said he's a Mormon and his first reaction was to question why his son was at a gay bar.
“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,” Brink said.
But when the 48-year-old learned more details of the deadly shooting, he said he was shocked.
“There's no excuse for going and killing people. If you're killing people, there's something wrong. It's not the answer,” he said.
Brink told CBS 8 his son was born in San Diego in 2000, at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women. The couple lived in Cardiff by the Sea at the time, but soon separated about a year later and got divorced.
He said his ex-wife, the daughter of California State Assemblyman Randy Voepel, and his son moved to Colorado around 2012.
Brink currently works as a mixed martial arts coach. He says he taught his son how to fight.
“I praised him for violent behavior really early. I told him it works. It is instant and you'll get immediate results,” the father said.
But in the wake of the violence at Club Q, Brink apologized to the families of the victims.
“I’m sorry for your loss. 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,” he said.
“I love my son no matter what. I love my son,” Brink said. “Please forgive my son.”
***WARNING Graphic Content. Content could be considered disturbing and is for mature audiences only.***
This video features extended clips of the CBS 8 interview with Aaron Brink, 48. Brink is the father of alleged Club Q gunman, Anderson Aldrich, 22. The interview was conducted on Nov. 22, 2022 at Brink's home in San Diego.