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What We Know About The Colorado Springs Club Q Shooting Victims
Family members have confirmed the names of three people killed in a mass shooting in Colorado Springs LGBTQ club that left five dead and dozens injured: Daniel Aston, Kelly Loving and Derrick Rump.
Details continue to emerge about an alleged hate-motivated shooting at a Colorado LGBTQ+ club that left five people dead.
Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, is accused of opening fire in an LGBTQ+ nightclub Saturday night, leaving five dead and more than two dozen injured, according to the New York Times. The suspect was stopped thanks to the “heroic” patrons of Club Q, who subdued the lone gunman minutes before Colorado Springs police arrived on the scene.
On Monday evening, police identified the “two heroes” as Thomas James and Richard Fierro.
Aldrich, who allegedly used an AR-15-style rifle in the crime, currently faces five charges of murder and five charges of committing a bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury.
On Monday, Colorado Springs Police confirmed the victims were Daniel Aston (he/him), Kelly Loving (she/her), Derrick Rump (he/him), Raymond Green Vance (he/him), and Ashley Paugh (she/her).
“Too often, society loses track of the victims of these sad and tragic events,” stated police. “We strive to give victims the dignity and respect they deserve, as well as shine a light of public attention to the victims.”
Many of the Club Q attendees were there for the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, which memorializes trans people who lost their lives to hate-motivated violence.
Here's what we know of the victims:
Aston, 28, who worked as a bartender and entertainer at Club Q, his parents confirmed with the Associated Press.
Sabrina and Jeff Aston told reporters their son started working at the club after moving from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Colorado Springs two years earlier because “he liked helping the LGBT community.”
Daniel reportedly described himself as a “Master of Silly Business” who once served as president of an LGBTQ+ club at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, before relocating to Colorado. The mullet-sporting transgender man often performed onstage at Club Q, where he “lit up a room, always smiling, always happy and silly,” according to Mrs. Aston, who still referred to her son in the present tense, according to the Associated Press.
The parents first heard the news early Sunday morning, when one of Daniel’s friends called them about the shooting, prompting them to go to the hospital.
“We thought he had just gotten hurt,” said Mrs. Aston. “You can fix hurt.”
Sabrina and Jeff were sent home as detectives scrambled to identify the victims. Later that morning, an investigator and patient advocate visited the parents with the distressing news.
“We are in shock,” Mrs. Aston told the AP. “We cried for a little bit, but then you go through this phase where you are just kind of numb, and I’m sure it will hit us again.”
Mrs. Aston told reporters she keeps thinking, “it’s a mistake, they made a mistake, and that he is really alive.”
Loved ones have also come forward to name Kelly Loving, 40, as another victim killed, according to the New York Times.
Longtime friend and former roommate Natalee Skye Bingham — who described Loving as “like a trans mother”— said she had recently moved to Denver but went to Club Q as part of a weekend getaway.
Bingham, whom ABC News reported was a survivor of the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando that left 49 people dead and 53 others wounded, said she spoke to Loving via FaceTime just minutes before Saturday’s shooting.
Bingham’s last words to Loving were, “Be safe, I love you,” according to the New York Times.
“I’m so devastated because she was such a good person,” said Bingham. “She was going to be at my house for Thanksgiving this upcoming Thursday, and now it’s one less person at my table.
She added that Kelly was an instrumental part of her life.
“In the gay community, you create your families,” said Bingham. “So it’s like I lost my real mother, almost.”
Loving’s sister, Tiffany Loving, described Kelly as “loving” and “always trying to help the next person out,” according to the New York Times.
“She was just a caring person,” said Kelly’s sister. “I was really close with her.”
On Monday, CBS Philadelphia affiliate KYW-TV reported that another Club Q bartender, Derrick Rump, 38, was also among the dead. He was originally from Berks County, Pennsylvania.
Anthony Jaramillo, a friend of the victim, told CBS News Philadelphia that Rump — a Kutztown Area High School graduate — was a staple at Club Q.
“When I went to Club Q, Derrick was going to be there,” said Jaramillo. “Guaranteed, every time.”
Jaramillo added that Rump was “loving, supportive” according to KYW-TV.
“And just a really good listener and [he] would not be afraid to tell you when you were wrong instead of telling you what you wanted to hear,” Jaramillo continued. “And that was really valuable.”
Rump’s mother, Julia Thames, confirmed with ABC News that her son was one of the victims.
"He was a kind, loving person who had a heart of gold,” stated Thames. “He was always there for my daughter and myself when we needed him; also, his friends from Colorado, which he would say was his family also. He was living his dream, and he would have wanted everyone to do the same.”
On Tuesday, following police confirmation that Ashley Paugh was among the victims, NBC News published statements from the 35-year-old mother’s family.
“It just doesn’t seem real,” Paugh’s sister, Stephanie Clark, said. “We’re heartbroken. We’re sad. We’re mad, angry.”
Clark told NBC News that Paugh – who was not part of the LGBTQ+ community – had driven from La Junta, Colorado, with a female friend for a day trip. The pair went out for a day of eating and shopping before heading to Club Q – about 100 miles northwest of La Junta – to watch a stand-up comedy routine, according to NBC News.
“Nothing will ever be the same without her,” said Clark. “Right now, I don’t want to laugh. She was a loving, caring person who would do anything for anybody. We’re going to miss her so much.”
Paugh’s family described Paugh as a woman with “a huge heart” who worked with Kids Crossing, an agency to help place foster children in homes, according to a statement obtained by CNN. Paugh worked with members of the LGBTQ+ community who wished to house such children, according to her family.
“She would do anything for the kids – traveling all over southeastern Colorado, from Pueblo and Colorado Springs to Fremont County and the Colorado border, working to raise awareness and encourage individuals and families to become foster parents to children in our community,” the family said in a release.
Most tragically, Paugh leaves behind an 11-year-old daughter, according to NBC News.
“My niece is devastated,” said Clark, adding that her sister “lived for her daughter.”
Raymond Green Vance
Also identified as one of the victims is 22-year-old Raymond Green Vance, who’d gone to Club Q Saturday night for the first, according to the Denver Post.
Vance was one of the guests to accompany Richard Fierro, now officially identified as one of the two individuals who bravely rushed the gunman to the ground and beat him with the shooter’s own pistol.
Fierro said Vance was dating his daughter and had spent the evening “smiling and dancing like a kid,” according to the Denver Post.
“My daughter got to spend a last day with him, happy,” said Fierro.
Vance’s family said Vance was not gay but an ally to the LGBTQ+ community, according to a family statement released by media liaison Joanna Small. Loved ones said Vance was born in Chicago and had spent his formative years in Colorado Springs, a 2018 graduate of Sand Creek High School.
Vance had just taken up work at the FedEx distribution center in Colorado Springs and had aspirations of becoming an online gamer, according to the Post.
Loved ones said Vance was “thrilled to have received his first paycheck,” according to a family statement obtained by CNN.
“His absence will leave irreparable heartache in countless lives,” said his family. “Raymond will be missed unbearably.”
Vance’s girlfriend of five years and four months, Kassy Fierro, wrote an emotional post on Facebook.
“My sweet baby. I’ll never be able to heal from this. I want to wake up from this horrendous nightmare,” Kassy wrote, in part. “I pray you hear me when I call for you. I’m so sorry. I’ll never forgive myself for taking everyone there. I will love you ’til the day I get to come back home to your arms.”
Richard Fierro said Vance was “a good man” who’d grabbed Kassy before hiding in a dressing room, ultimately saving Kassy’s life.
“I loved him,” said Mr. Fierro.
“Unfortunately, he never left the club," the family stated to CNN. “Raymond was the victim of a man who unleashed terror on innocent people out with family and friends.”
Shooting suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich remains hospitalized as of Monday afternoon; he was reportedly injured by other club patrons who disarmed him.