In 2019, Colorado passed a law that “automatically prevents the retrieval of criminal records when a case is entirely dismissed” /2/. This law “is likely what sealed the records from a 2021 bomb threat incident in which a man with the same name and age as the Club Q shooting suspect was arrested.” The Denver Gazette notes that

In June 2021, Anderson Lee Aldrich was arrested over a bomb threat that forced residents in a Lorson Ranch neighborhood in southeast Colorado Springs to evacuate from their homes for about three hours.

A press release El Paso County Sheriff’s Office said that a woman reported that her son, Aldrich, ‘threatened to cause harm to her with a homemade bomb, multiple weapons, and ammunition.’

No formal charges were pursued in that case, which has since been sealed. /3/

Investigators and the media were able to piece together Aldrich’s past, including a name change, through public records sources, among other touch points. /4/.

/1/ Marc Fisher, Michelle Boorstein, and Molly Hennessy-Fiske,How the Colorado mass shooting unfolded — and ended — inside Club Q, Wash. Post, Nov. 21, 2022 (“Fisher”).

/2/ Luige Del Puerto, Did Colorado law automatically seal 2021 suspect’s criminal record?, Denver Gazette, Nov. 21, 2022 (“Del Puerto”), citing CO Rev Stat § 24-72-705, (H.B. 19-1275), ch. 295, p. 2739. The legislation was a bipartisan bill by Reps. Michael Weissman, (D-Aurora) and Matt Soper, (R-Delta), and Sen. Pete Lee, (D-Colorado Springs).

/3/ Id., Del Puerto.

/4/ Joby Warrick and Robert Klemko, Police probe LGBTQ club shooting suspect’s ties to a 2021 bomb threat, Wash. Post, Nov. 20, 2022; and Joby Warrick, Robert Klemko, Razzan Nakhlawi, Alice Cities, and Cate Brow, LGBTQ club shooting suspect’s troubled past was obscured by a name change, records show, Wash. Post, Nov. 21, 2022.