Colorado Springs Club Q shooting results in five deaths

Daniel Ashton, Kelly Loving, Ashley Paugh, Derrick Rump, and Raymond Green Vance all lost their lives in the Club Q shooting on Nov. 19


Jayden Kelley

Memorials have been set up outside of Club Q for each of the victims. Club Q’s Facebook posted, “Our prays and thoughts are with all the victims and their families and friends.”

On the night of Saturday, Nov. 19 at an LGBTQ+ nightclub, Club Q, in Colorado Springs, Anderson Lee Aldrich allegedly opened fire, killing five people in less than a minute and injuring at least 17 others. The exact number of injured individuals remains unknown as of now.

Though it has not yet been confirmed, some commentators have suggested that this was in fact a targeted hate crime, given the nightclub was a symbol and sanctuary for the queer community.

Hate crime charges have not been made against Aldrich yet – no formal charges have been filed. His next court hearing will be Dec. 6.

The owner of Club Q, Matthew Haynes, opened the club 21 years ago with the goal of creating a center in the Colorado Springs community for LGBTQ+ individuals to feel safe, loved, and build relationships. Over those 21 years, Club Q grew in popularity. Not only was it a nightclub, but a community center and building for events and shows.

“21 years ago, we didn’t have marriage,” Haynes said. “21 years ago you got kicked out of the military if they found out you were gay. You couldn’t go sit in a restaurant next to your partner. Club Q was that safe place for people to come and feel and understand that they are normal.”

The night of the shooting, the gunman was disarmed by at least two community members at the nightclub. Richard Fierro, a patron celebrating his friend’s birthday at Club Q, grabbed Aldrich’s second weapon, a handgun, and he pinned him against the stairs. Fierro hit the back of Aldrich’s head with the gun and told another person to move the automatic rifle away from him, potentially saving many more lives.

As of now, the victims lost in the shooting were Daniel Ashton, Kelly Loving, Ashley Paugh, Derrick Rump, and Raymond Green Vance.

Daniel Ashton was a bartender and entertainer at Club Q. He loved entertaining, according to his mother, Sabrina Ashton. She shared he seemed so liberated when he entertained and delighted a crowd. She said he “lit up a room, always smiling, always happy.” After being rushed to Memorial Hospital Saturday night, she found out Sunday morning that Daniel had passed away.

Kelly Loving was described as “loving, always trying to help the next person out, instead of thinking of herself” by her sister, Tiffany Loving. A target of hateful transgender violence before, she had survived a previous Florida shooting and stabbing. Close friend Natalee Skye Bingham was intending to spend Thanksgiving with Loving. She said she will pay tribute to her and “be a voice for her” and against trans violence.

Ashley Paugh was a devoted wife and mother to her 11-year-old daughter. Her sister shared that Paugh’s whole life was her daughter, who is now left without her mom. Paugh was in Colorado Springs for the day with a friend. They’d shopped, ate, and we’re ending the night at Club Q, expecting to see a performance from a stand-up comedian. “She was a loving, caring person who would do anything for anybody. We’re gonna miss her so much,” said sister Stephanie Clark.

Bartender Derrick Rump was very loved at Club Q. He was described as sassy and fun, always making it a good time for clubbers. He “was seen as the glue that held together the queer community in Colorado Springs”. His generosity extended to buying lashes and clothes that drag queens couldn’t afford, and Rump was even reported to have purchased groceries for drag queens who’d lost their jobs during the pandemic.

Raymond Green Vance “was the most hilarious[,] most loving human,” said his girlfriend, Kassy Fierro, in a Facebook post. Kassy Fierro’s father, Richard Fierro, was one of the people who tackled and disarmed the gunman. Green Vance was said to be close with his family. “His absence will leave irreparable heartbreak in countless lives,” his family shared.