Club Q: Remembering the five ‘loving, caring’ people whose lives were cruelly cut short
The five victims of the horrific Colorado Springs shooting have been identified as Daniel Aston, Derrick Rump, Kelly Loving, Ashley Paugh and Raymond Green Vance.
Their lives were cut short on Saturday, 19 November, after suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich, opened fire in Club Q, leaving at least 25 other people injured.
The shooter was unable to kill anyone else thanks to the brave actions of others who managed to disarm him and pin him down until the police arrived.
Aldrich has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder and five counts of “bias-motivated crimes causing bodily injury”.
In the days following the shooting, family members and friends have come forward to pay tribute.
Daniel’s mother, Sabrina, has said her 28-year-old son loved wearing hats, listening to 1980s music and could usually be found dancing in Club Q, where he worked as a bartender and also performed in shows.
Daniel found himself in Colorado Springs after moving from Oklahoma two years ago, after being convinced by his parents who wanted him to be closer to their grandchildren.
Sabrina said Daniel was the “happiest he had ever been” in Colorado, where she recalled “he was thriving and having fun and having friends”.
Upon his relocation, the 28-year-old quickly secured a job at Club Q where he secured a big group of friends.
“It’s just unbelievable. He had so much more life to give to us and to all to his friends and to himself,” Sabrina shared.
Derrick’s mother, Julia Thames, described the 38-year-old as a “kind loving person who had a heart of gold”, to ABC News.
“He was always there for my daughter and myself when we needed him, also his friends from Colorado which he would say was his family also.
“He was living his dream and he would have wanted everyone to do the same.”
Derrick’s brother-in-law, Michael Kissling, said the 38-year-old Pennsylvania native moved to Colorado with a friend more than a decade ago in a bid to start a new life.
According to Derrick’s Facebook page, which has been memorialised, he began bartending at Club Q in November 2018.
He was also a drag performed who would often be part of the shows at Club Q.
Derrick’s sister, Julia Kissling told 69 News: “He found a community of people that he loved, and he felt that he could shine there, and he did.
“He made a difference in so many people’s lives, and that’s where he wanted to be.”
Rufio Jimenez who worked with Derrick at Club Q for years described him as a “sweetheart” and a “leader at heart” who was “calm and quiet”, but “sassy when he wants to be”.
Kelly’s sister, Tiffany Loving, described the 40-year-old as a “sweet”, “caring” and “loving” person.
She added: “My sister was a good person. Everyone loved her. Kelly was a wonderful person.”
According to reports, Kelly had moved to Denver, Colorado, about a month ago and was visiting Club Q, where she tragically lost her life, while on a weekend trip to the area.
A close friend of Kelly’s, Natalee Skye Bingham, told The Denver Post she wasn’t a clubgoer and actually “hated going out”.
Kelly spoke to Natalee before heading out to Club Q and was heartbroken at the realisation she would never speak to her again.
She said Kelly had the “most confidence of anybody” she had met before, and “was very inspirational for being different”.
Ariel Hill, a friend of Kelly’s said she wouldn’t be who she is today if it wasn’t for Kelly, a trans woman and mother figure to many in her community.
“I don’t have the words right now. Kelly taught me a lot. She taught me how to do makeup. She was truly a loving person. She’d give you the shirt off her back.”
Ashley’s husband Kurt Paugh has said his late wife was “proud” of her 11-year-old daughter Ryleigh who she thought of as her “whole world”.
Kurt said the 35-year-old, who was taken too soon, loved being outdoors, hunting, fishing and riding four-wheelers.
“Ashley was a loving wife, she was my high school sweetheart, and she was just an amazing mother.”
According to her sister, Stephanie Clark, Ashley had gone to Club Q with a friend to see a stand-up comedian.
Stephanie described Ashley as “loving” and “caring” and said she will be missed so much.
Ashley also gave her all to helping others and would help out at Kids Crossing – a nonprofit organisation helping find loving homes for foster children.
Part of her work would include working with the LGBTQ+ community to find foster placements for kids.
“During the holidays, Ashley organised giving trees and delivered them to businesses so that foster kids could have brighter holidays,” Kurt said.
Raymond’s family has described the beloved 22-year-old as a “kind, selfless young adult” who had his entire life ahead of him.
He graduated from Sand Creek High School in 2018 and had recently started a job at a Colorado Springs FedEx distribution centre.
Raymond was saving to afford his own place, away from his home where he lived with his mum and younger brother.
A close friend of his said he was a one-of-a-kind person who would go out of his way to help anyone.
Saturday was Raymond’s first time at Club Q, where he attended to celebrate a birthday alongside his loved ones. Although he wasn’t part of the community he was an ally.
Raymond’s family said: “His absence will leave irreparable heartbreak in countless lives.”
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