COLORADO SPRINGS, Color –
A loving boyfriend. A 28-year-old bartender loves to perform. A mother from a small town loves to hunt. This is one of the victims of an assault at an LGBTQ2S+ club in Colorado Springs that left five people dead and 17 others injured by bullets.
Club regulars and newcomers – gay and straight, transgender and transgender – flock to the Q Club at the weekend to dance, enjoy a comedy show or work out behind the bar. What started as a typical Saturday night for dancing and drinking at the preeminent LGBTQ2S+ establishment in the conservative Colorado city south of Denver ended in tragedy when a gunman walked in. and started firing bullets before he was dealt with and subdued.
The 22-year-old suspect is facing five counts of murder and five counts of favoritism causing bodily harm.
Here are the five people who were killed:
This undated photo provided by Jeff Aston shows his son, Daniel Aston. (Courtesy of Jeff Aston via AP)
Daniel Aston, 28, grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma and moved closer to his family to Colorado Springs two years ago. He works as a bartender and entertainer at Q Club and cherishes the site as a sanctuary where as a transgender he can be himself and perform. before a cheering audience, his mother Sabrina Aston told The Associated Press.
Self-proclaimed “Stupid Business Master,” Aston’s tendency to make people laugh began at an early age when he wore elaborate costumes and wrote plays played by neighborhood kids. In college, where he was the president of his school’s LGBTQ2S+ club, he raised funds with increasingly flashy products.
″(Daniel’s performance) was great. Everyone needs to go see him,” his mother said. “He lights up the room, always smiling, always happy and silly,” she said.
Derrick Rump, 38, a bartender at Club Q, is remembered as a lovable and quick-witted man who treated friends like family.
His mother, Julia Thames, who confirmed his death to ABC News, said: “He is living his dream and he wants everyone to do the same.
She said in a statement that Rump was “a loving person with a heart of gold.”
“He was always there for my daughter and myself when we needed him; including his friends from Colorado, who he said were also his family,” she said in the statement.
Rump’s friend Anthony Jaramillo told CBS News that Rump is someone who “loves, supports, pours him wine, and is a real listener and won’t be afraid to tell you when you’re wrong instead of telling you what you did. want to hear it and it’s really worth it.”
Kelly Loving, 40, was speaking to a friend via FaceTime call from inside the Q Club just minutes before the shooting began. Natalee Skye Bingham told The New York Times that the last thing she said to Loving was: “Be safe. I love you.”
“She was like a transgender mom to me. I admire her,” Bingham said. “In the gay community, you create your family, so I almost lost my biological mother.”
Bingham, 25, said Loving recently moved to Denver and visited the club during a weekend trip to Colorado Springs.
“She was a tough woman,” Bingham said. “She taught me what it’s like to be a transgender woman and live your life every day.”
Loving’s older sister, Tiffany Loving, sends her condolences to the families who lost loved ones in the shooting as well as those struggling to be accepted by the world.
“My sister is a good person. She is loving, caring and sweet. Everyone loves her. Kelly is an amazing person,” she said in a statement.
This undated photograph provided by the Colorado Springs Police Department shows Raymond Green Vance. (Courtesy of Colorado Springs Police Department via AP)
RAYMOND GREEN VANCE
Raymond Green Vance, 22, went to Club Q Saturday night with his girlfriend, Kassy Fierro, and her father, Rich, co-owner of Atrevida Beer Co., a local brewery in Colorado Springs. The group was there to celebrate a friend’s birthday.
“My sweet baby. sickness can never heal from this. I want to wake up from this terrible nightmare. I pray you hear me when I call you. I’m so sorry. I never forgive myself for taking everyone there. I will love you until the day I return home in your arms,” Kassy Fierro wrote in a Facebook post on Monday. Attached is a photo of the couple.
Vance’s family in a statement described him as a kind, selfless man with a promising future. He works at a FedEx Distribution Center, loves video games and is “ready to help anyone,” the family said.
“Raymond was the victim of a man who caused terror to innocent people while hanging out with family and friends,” they wrote in the statement.
Ashley Paugh, 35, is a loving mother and wife with “a kind heart,” says her husband, Kurt Paugh. She volunteers with an organization that helps children in foster care and delivers Christmas trees to the homes they are placed in to light up their holiday season.
“She was my high school sweetheart – and she was a great mom. Her daughter is her whole world,” her husband said in a statement.
She also enjoys hunting, fishing and four-wheel drive.
A resident of La Junta, a town of 7,500 people about a two-hour drive from Colorado Springs, Paugh was visiting one day with a friend when they went to the Q Club on a Saturday night to see a comedy. Her husband said she planned to organize tree deliveries to adoptive families in Pueblo and Colorado Springs this week.
Associated Press news researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York and reporter Jesse Bedayn in Colorado Springs contributed to this report. Bedayn is a member of The Associated Press/Report for the America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that puts journalists in local newsrooms to cover confidential issues.