Colorado Springs shooting victims named as young bartenders: ‘The tragedy is mind-numbing’

A split-screen image showing Colorado Springs shooting victims Daniel Aston (L) Derrick Rump at the top part, with an image of flowers left outside the club following the shooting

Two of the five victims killed in the Colorado Springs shooting have been formally identified as Daniel Aston and Derrick Rump.

Both were bartenders at Club Q, where a gunman opened fire late on Saturday (19 November), killing them along with three others – and injuring at least 25 with a long rifle.

The Colorado Springs shooting took place just three minutes before Transgender Day of Remembrance.

A suspect was later identified as 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich, though a motive has not been confirmed by police.

According to his Twitter account, 28-year-old trans man Daniel Aston secured his bartending job at Club Q in August 2020, having recently moved back to his hometown of Colorado Springs from Oklahoma.

Aston first told his parents he was a boy when he was four years old, but was bullied while at school. He was finally able to be his full self after college.

Bartender Daniel Aston, killed in the Colorado Springs shooting, made Club Q patrons feel ‘safe’

He was loved by his customers and colleagues alike in Colorado Springs, and tweeted in January: “Every single goddamn time I even have the slightest thought of leaving Club Q, someone comes up and tells me ‘you’re the reason I love this bar’ or ‘you and [fellow bartender Derrick Rump] make me feel so safe and welcome here.'”

Speaking to Colorado Public Radio, Aston’s mother Sabrina described his job at Club Q. “He was the happiest he had ever been.

“He was thriving and having fun and having friends. It’s just unbelievable. He had so much more life to give to us and to all his friends and to himself.”

But, she said, as anti-trans rhetoric skyrocketed across the US, she worried for her son’s safety.

“I always worried about it,” she said.

“He’s a trans man and the trans community are really the biggest targets I can think about it right now.”

Despite their grief, Aston’s parents are determined to speak publicly about their son, to raise awareness of the deadly threats to trans Americans.

“We need to get our legislators and our people high up to have a voice for us,” she said.
“Those are our children, we do not care how you dress or what you identify as. It doesn’t harm anybody.”

Drag performer Derrick Rump worked alongside Daniel Aston at Club Q

Derrick Rump, originally from Berks County, Pennsylvania, is the second named victim killed in the Colorado Springs shooting.

Rump had been a bartender at Club Q since 2018 and was also a drag performer. His warmth was remembered by friends over the weekend.

Shadavia Green, another Club Q bartender, shared on Facebook: “You were more than some guy I worked with. You were family. You didn’t deserve to go out like this.

“I’ll keep memories of you in my heart. Thank you for being so kind, and considerate of me. Thank you for helping me grow as a bartender, having my back when I lacked confidence and keeping me laughing when I was down.

“You were definitely a light in that place even when you told MFs off we knew they deserved it. You worked hard and made all of our lives more enjoyable with you in the room.

“You’ll be missed hun. Rest up Derrick Rump until we meet again.”

Rump’s friend Anthony Jaramillo told CBS: “I guess I’m just waiting for someone to be like, ‘Oh, it’s the wrong Derrick’… When I went to Club Q, Derrick was going to be there guaranteed every time.”

Describing his friend, he said Rump was “loving, supportive, with a heavy hand in his drink pouring, and just a really good listener and would not be afraid to tell you when you were wrong instead of telling you what you wanted to hear and that was really valuable”.