Club Q Colorado shooting: Police identify victims

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Winston Yellen places his head on his knees as he pays his respects at a makeshift memorial near Club Q on November 20, 2022 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.The Denver Post via Getty Images

Police have named five people killed in a shooting at a gay club in the US state of Colorado on Saturday night.

Club Q was known as a safe haven for the LGBT community in Colorado Springs, a feeling shattered when a gunman entered the nightclub and opened fire.

The five fatalities were Daniel Aston, Derrick Rump, Kelly Loving, Ashley Paugh and Raymond Vance. Seventeen others were left with gunshot wounds.

Two people, including a patron, subdued the shooter before police arrived.

The gunman is in police custody.

Daniel Davis Aston was a bartender at Club Q and had helped create its “positive culture”, his colleague Michael Anderson told CNN.

Daniel’s mother, Sabrina Aston, told the Denver Post that her 28-year-old son was in a good place in his life after struggling with his identity during his adolescence, having found peace after transitioning in college. He was a transgender man, according to US media.

Daniel Davis Aston

Facebook

The death of her youngest child “was unbelievable”, and he had much more to give to the world, she said.

Friends have said Daniel loved to perform, including in drag shows.

“He never knew a stranger, from the time he was little,” his mother said. “He always said, ‘I’m shy,’ but he wasn’t. He wrote poetry, he loved to dress up, he got into drama in high school. He’s an entertainer. That’s what he really loves.”

She hopes his death will not be in vain, and will help raise awareness about the issues faced by the trans community.

Aston was bartending at Club Q that night with Derrick Rump, 38, who also died.

Derrick Rump

Facebook

“Loving, supportive, with a heavy hand in his drink pouring, and just a really good listener and would not be afraid to tell you when you were wrong instead of telling you what you wanted to hear and that was really valuable,” his friend Anthony Jaramillo told CBS.

Another victim, Kelly Loving, was a 40-year-old transgender woman, according to US media.

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A friend told the New York Times: “She was loving, always trying to help the next person out instead of thinking of herself. She just was a caring person. I was really close with her.”

Ashley Paugh had spent the day with a friend in Colorado Springs and decided to have a fun evening at Club Q before she had planned to return home to her husband and 11-year-old daughter in La Junta, a town around 100 miles (160km) away, her sister told NBC News.

The 35-year-old was devoted to her family and loved the outdoors, Stephanie Clark told the network, and she had worked at a non-profit that helped find homes for foster children.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

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“Nothing will ever be the same without her,” she said. “Right now, I don’t want to laugh. She was a loving, caring person who would do anything for anybody. We’re gonna miss her so much.”

In a family statement, her husband Kurt said they are “absolutely devastated by the loss” of the woman he said was his high school sweetheart and an amazing mother with a “huge heart”.

“She meant everything to this family, and we can’t even begin to understand what it will mean to not have her in our lives.”

Raymond Green

Colorado Springs Police Department

On Monday, police identified the fifth victim as Raymond Green. He was at the club celebrating a friend’s birthday, Atrevida Beer Co, which is owned by his girlfriend’s family, said on Facebook.

“With an incredibly heavy and broken heart we lost Raymond, who had been a part of our lives since our daughter was in high school,” the post said.

“We are going to miss him and his bright smile so much.”

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