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DENVER (KDVR) — Cell phone video from a Frontier Airlines passenger showed club shooting suspect Anderson Aldrich and Aldrich’s mother, Laura Voepel, in a heated confrontation with fellow passengers on July 31.

The video was taken by Maria Martinez after the Aurora woman said Aldrich referred to her by a racist slur used against Hispanics. After she was called the derogatory term, Martinez began filming Aldrich and Voepel as they walked off the plane.

In the video, this exchange can be heard:

  • Martinez: “What makes me a b—–?”
  • Voepel: “Shut up.”
  • Martinez: “What makes me a b—–?”

A few seconds later, Aldrich responds, “You keep following me and I’m going to f— you up.”

Aldrich was wearing a face mask at the time, but Martinez said she and her daughter Kayla Martinez immediately recognized Aldrich as the person now charged with killing five people and shooting 17 others at Club Q in Colorado Springs.

In several standard motions filed on behalf of Aldrich on Tuesday, public defenders said the 22-year-old is nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns. 

Mother, son abuse passengers with racist comments

The passengers on the flight that day said they remembered Aldrich well, in part because of what they told each other after their flight home to Denver.

“Even my friend was like, we won’t be surprised, like, if he’s a mass shooter. And it was scary to think that,” Martinez said.

That family friend is Tanya De La O, who was traveling with the Martinezes and said it was Voepel who started using racist language.

“I was having a hard time getting my luggage down (from the overhead bin), and all of a sudden, I just hear this woman say, ‘Hurry the f— up. You b—–.’ And then I turned around and said, excuse me?”

De La O said Aldrich added to the verbal abuse and when an African-American male passenger tried to de-escalate tensions, she said Aldrich turned on him.

“He also told him to ‘shut the f— up, you f—— n—-,'” De La O said.

“He seems very hateful acting. Like, just evil,” Maria Martinez said.

Her daughter, Kayla Martinez, added, “Like just being in the presence of him, I could just feel like the hate. He just seems like he has hate deep down in his heart.”

De La O added she had no doubt Aldrich learned the behavior from their mother, Voepel.

“I can see where he gets it from. She’s the one that started with the racial slur … She was obnoxious. The whole flight. She literally made the crew remove a young lady with her baby that were sitting behind her because she (Voepel) was complaining about the baby. and the plane hadn’t even taken off yet,” De La O said.

Shocking comments in retrospect

Maria Martinez said she tried to complain to the Frontier Airlines flight crew but felt they weren’t willing to get involved and told her to call customer service when she got off the plane. She said that when she called customer service, they refused to take her complaint over the phone and told her she had to submit it in writing.

Frustrated, Maria Martinez said she hung up the phone and gave up but will never forget her interaction with Aldrich.

“We had a conflict with a mass shooter is like very scary and traumatic. Yeah, it’s surreal,” she said.

De La O said she remembers most what Aldrich muttered while walking off the plane: “I wish I can shoot all of you right now.”