The shooting that killed five people and wounded 17 others at Club Q has profoundly shaken the small LGBTQ+ community in Colorado Springs. Among the victims were two recent transplants to Colorado, who came to the state seeking new opportunities. Some were members of the LGBTQ+ community, while others were friends and allies who were enjoying the bar.
Community members have gathered to honor the lives of those lost through vigils and memorial services. Allies like Tyler Hill, a spiritual director from Colorado Springs, are helping their neighbors heal by offering people guidance during their grieving.
“A safe place for so many was violated—so it was important for us to go above and beyond to ensure they knew where there are safe places to grieve,” Hill says. “ They are hurt, angry, scared, sad, confused. All emotions are on the table as they should be.”
While police have not released the identities of the victims, families have come forward with the names of the victims. Here’s what we know.
Daniel Aston, 28
AP/Courtesy of Jeff AstonThis undated photo provided by Jeff Aston, shows his son Daniel Aston. Daniel Aston was one of five people killed when a gunman opened fire in a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Saturday night, Nov. 19, 2022.
Twenty-eight year-old Daniel Aston’s bartending gig at Club Q was his first job in the city after moving there from Oklahoma two years ago. A transgender man, Aston was the self-proclaimed “Master of Silly Business,” family members told the Associated Press. He also worked as an entertainer in the nightclub.
Aston will be remembered for the way “he lit up a room, always smiling, always happy and silly,” his mother, Sabrina Aston said. The family is struggling to come to terms with his murder, which happened the night before the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which commemorates all the transgender people lost to violence.
“I keep thinking it’s a mistake, they made a mistake, and that he is really alive,” she said. The family was notified that their son was shot at 2 a.m. on Sunday. Police and a patient advocate notified the family that he had died later that morning.
Kelly Loving, 40
Kelly Loving, 40, recently moved to Colorado and was visiting Club Q during her weekend trip from Denver. Minutes after Loving hung up a FaceTime call from her longtime friend, Natalee Skye Bingham, she was shot and killed.
“I’m so devastated, because she was such a good person,” Bingham told the New York Times. “She was going to be at my house for Thanksgiving this upcoming Thursday and, now, it’s one less person at my table.”
Bingham credits Loving, whom she refers to as her “trans mother,” as the person who taught her how to ease into her transition. “In the gay community, you create your families, so it’s like I lost my real mother, almost,” she added.
Loving’s sister, Tiffany, described her as a kind, loving person that was “always fighting for people,” she told ABC News.
Derrick Rump, 38
Derrick Rump, 38, worked with Aston as a bartender. His friends described him to the Denver Post as someone who was “shy” but “warm” and “soulful.” He was “very understanding of other people’s situations,” his friend, Jessi Hazelwood said.
Julia Thames, Rump’s mother, described him as someone with a “heart of gold.” “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,” she said in a statement to ABC News.
Ashley Paugh, 35
Ashely Paugh, mother of an 11-year-old daughter, drove up from La Junta, Colorado to spend the day in the city with a friend. Paugh was at Club Q to watch a stand-up comedian perform, according to NBC.
Stephanie Clark, Paugh’s sister, confirmed her death to NBC News. “It just doesn’t seem real,” Clark told NBC. “We’re heartbroken. We’re sad. We’re mad, angry.”
The Colorado Sun says Paugh worked at a foster care organization in Colorado Springs.
Raymond Green was at the nightclub to celebrate his friend’s birthday. His mother confirmed his death to the Colorado Springs Gazette.
“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,” Jess Fierro, the mother of Green’s girlfriend said on Facebook, per the Colorado Sun. “We are going to miss him and his bright smile so much.” Green’s mother also confirmed his death, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette.
Green’s girlfriend was also present at Club Q. She broke her knee while running for cover.