Victims of the shooting at gay nightclub Club Q: (from left to right) Ashley Paugh, Daniel Aston, Derrick Rump, Kelly Loving and Raymond Green Vance.
The Colorado Springs Police Department on Monday identified the five victims of the deadly shooting at gay nightclub Club Q and the two clubgoers who heroically subdued the lone gunman preventing a larger tragedy.
Trigger Warning: This story discusses the mass shooting at a gay nightclub, which might be distressing to some readers. For 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.
Five people were killed and around 19 others injured when 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich entered the club on Saturday night and started shooting at patrons. According to the police, Aldrich was armed with an AR-style long rifle and a handgun.
Aldrich, the grandson of outgoing California Republican Assemblyman Randy Voepel, was arrested by the police last year for threatening his mother with a homemade bomb. The charges were subsequently dropped.
Voepel, who lost his re-election bid in the elections earlier this month, had compared the January 6th attack on the US Capitol to the Revolutionary War.
Heroic Actions Of Army Veteran And Drag Queen Saved Lives
Richard Fierro, was one of the two clubgoers, who subdued the gunman. Image; Facebook
Two clubgoers, identified as Thomas James and Richard Fierro, are credited with intervening and subduing the shooter. The police hailed their “heroic actions” but declined to share details as it was part of their investigation.
“They were able to stop the suspect from continuing to kill and harm others,” said Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez. Media reports said that Fierro, an army veteran, confronted Aldrich and pounced on him to stop him from shooting others. Fierro was at the club with his family to watch the drag performance of a high school friend of one of his daughters.
Fierro’s daughter’s boyfriend was one of the victims killed in the attack.
“I grabbed the pistol from him … and then I started whaling on him,” Fierro told media persons. When he called for backup from other patrons, a drag queen stepped up and reportedly stomped on the shooter with her high heels.
“I did what I had to do.”
Richard M. Fierro, one of the men who tackled the gunman in the Colorado Springs Club Q shooting, said it wasn’t about being the hero — it was all about protecting his family. https://t.co/SXoUGH4q4Y pic.twitter.com/fxOFXwEKhW
— CNN (@CNN) November 22, 2022
Victims Remembered By Families And Friends
The five victims who were killed were identified as Kelly Loving (She/Her), Daniel Aston (He/Him), Derrick Rump (He/Him), Ashley Paugh (She/Her) and Raymond Green Vance (He/Him). The families of victims requested the media to respect their privacy.
Kelly, a 40-year-old trans woman who was in Colorado Springs for the weekend from her home in Denver, was one of the victims. “My condolences go out to all the families who lost someone in this tragic event, and to everyone struggling to be accepted in this world,” Kelly’s sister Tiffany said in a statement. “My sister was a good person. She was loving and caring and sweet. Everyone loved her,” said Tiffany.
Twenty-year-old Daniel Ashton, a trans man, who was another victim, worked as a bartender at Club Q and used to perform at drag shows at the nightclub. Thirty-eight-year-old Derrick Rump was the other bartender who was killed in the attack.
Ashley Paugh’s husband Kurt, recalled his wife’s work with the LGBTQ community and a non-profit to find foster families for children. “She had a huge heart. I know that Ashley cared about so many people,” said Kurt in a statement.
The fifth victim Raymond Green Vance had gone to Club Q with his longtime girlfriend, her parents and their friends to enjoy a drag show. “Raymond was the victim of a man who unleashed terror on innocent people out with family and friends,” his family said in a statement.
A crowdfunding campaign for Club Q shooting victims and their families has raised over $600,000 in two days.
If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.
For 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14
For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.
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