COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Five victims killed in a shooting Saturday night at an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs were identified Monday.
Colorado Springs Police Department identified the following as the victims who died:
- Daniel Aston (he/him)
- Kelly Loving (she/her)
- Ashley Paugh (she/her)
- Derrick Rump (he/him)
- Raymond Green Vance (he/him)
On a typical night at Club Q, Daniel Aston could be seen letting loose and sliding across the stage on his knees tailed by his mullet to whoops and hollers.
The venue provided Aston, a 28-year-old transgender man and the self-proclaimed “Master of Silly Business," with the liberating performances he had long sought.
His mother, Sabrina Aston, vacillated between past and present tense as she discussed her son Sunday night in their Colorado Springs home. Aston’s father, Jeff Aston, sat nearby listening to his wife’s stories and alternating between tightly clasping his hands and cupping his forehead.
“We are in shock, 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,” she said. “I keep thinking it’s a mistake, they made a mistake, and that he is really alive," she added.
Kelly Loving had just moved to Colorado a month ago, according to her longtime friend Natalee Skye Bingham.
Bingham lost not only a friend of seven years, but someone who helped guide her.
She described Loving as a confident and bright spirit and credits Loving for helping her to become the woman she is today.
"She was like my trans-mother. You know, in the gay community, we congregate together to create our families, and some of us are disowned, or just not welcomed. I looked up to Kelly as if she was my own mother," Bingham said.
She said she will cherish Loving for teaching her to stay confident and truthful to who she is.
"She was fearless. She was a welcoming person. She would give you the shirt off her back, if you were asking for it, or the last dollar to her name, she would give it to you. She would give anything and everything to anyone," Bingham said.
Tiffany Loving, Kelly's sister, released the following statement:
“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. My sister was a good person. She was loving and caring and sweet. Everyone loved her. Kelly was a wonderful person."
Kurt Paugh, Ashley's husband, released the following statement on behalf of her family:
"We’re absolutely devastated by the loss of Ashley. 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.
"Ashley was a loving wife – she was my high school sweetheart – and she was just an amazing mother. Her daughter was her whole world, and she was so proud of Ryleigh, who is a championship swimmer. She loved her dad, her sister, and her family; Ashley was a loving aunt, with many nieces and nephews who are devastated by her loss.
"She had a huge heart. I know that Ashley cared about so many people. She helped so many people through her work at Kids Crossing, a nonprofit that helps find loving homes for foster children. 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. This included working with the LGBTQ community to find welcoming foster placements for children. During the holidays, Ashley organized giving trees and delivered them to businesses so that foster kids could have brighter holidays – and in fact, she was setting up giving trees even last week, canvassing Pueblo and Colorado Springs.
"In addition to her family and making a difference in the community, Ashley loved being outdoors and enjoyed hunting, fishing, and riding four-wheelers."
It wasn't the building that made Club Q special. It was the community the people inside built.
Many nights, regulars knew they could find that community in bartenders Derrick Rump and Daniel Aston -- because the pair served so much more than drinks.
Making people feel comfortable was what Club Q bartender Derrick Rump did best.
"I can pretty much be invisible anywhere I go and he wouldn't let me be invisible even if I tried," Derrick's friend Anna Oliver said. "He would find me and make sure that I was seen. It was like he saw who I was and wanted to show everyone else."
Oliver met Derrick at Club Q six years ago. He kept her coming back, she said.
"Derrick made Club Q a safe space and a safe haven for me and so many others," she said.
When she found out about the shooting at her safe space -- and found out that the person who made it safe had died there -- she was devastated.
"It felt like the world was ending for a while, and it still hurts a lot," she said.
She said her friends will keep Derrick's memory alive by sharing remembrances of him with each other. They plan to honor the community he and Daniel helped build at Club Q.
"He brought you in and made you family," she said.
Raymond Green Vance
The following statement was released on behalf of Vance's family:
"On November 19th, 2022, Raymond Green Vance went to Club Q to enjoy a show with his longtime girlfriend, her parents, and her parents' friends; they were celebrating a birthday. The 22-year-old had never been to that nightclub before, and although he is supportive of the LGBTQ community, he himself is not a member of it. Unfortunately, he never left the club. Raymond was the victim of a man who unleashed terror on innocent people out with family and friends. His own family and friends are completely devastated by the sudden loss of a son, grandson, brother, nephew, and cousin loved by so many.
"Raymond was a kind, selfless young adult with his entire life ahead of him. His closest friend describes him as gifted, one-of-a-kind, and willing to go out of his way to help anyone. He had just gotten a new job at a Colorado Springs FedEx distribution center, and was thrilled to have received his first paycheck. He couldn't wait to save enough money to get his own apartment, but in the meantime he lived with his mother and younger brother who adored him.
"Raymond was born in Chicago (and has siblings who still reside there) but spent his entire life in Colorado Springs. He was a 2018 graduate of Sand Creek High School where his mother describes him as a popular, well-liked young man who never got into any trouble and had plenty of friends. Raymond spent most of his spare time with his girlfriend (whom he had been with since middle school) and playing video games, which were his favorite hobby and something he hoped to turn into an online career.
"Raymond grew up surrounded by cousins whom he was very close with, and they and the rest of his tight-knit family are still trying to come to terms with the fact he is gone. His absence will leave irreparable heartbreak in countless lives."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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