US: Mothers, friends, performers among dead at Colorado gay club

'There's blood on your hands': Anti-LGBTQ rhetoric surged ahead of Club Q shooting

  'There's blood on your hands': Anti-LGBTQ rhetoric surged ahead of Club Q shooting Fifth Avenue in New York comes to a halt as Elton John performs outside iconic department store Saks, for their holiday window lighting. (Nov. 23)

A loving boyfriend. A 28-year-old bartender who loved to perform. A mother visiting from a small town who enjoyed hunting. These are among the victims of the rampage at an LGBTQ club in Colorado Springs that left five people dead and 17 others with gunshot wounds.

This undated photo provided by Jeff Aston, shows his son Daniel Aston. Daniel Aston was one of five people killed when a gunman opened fire in a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Saturday night, Nov. 19, 2022. (Courtesy of Jeff Aston via AP) © Provided by The Associated Press This undated photo provided by Jeff Aston, shows his son Daniel Aston. Daniel Aston was one of five people killed when a gunman opened fire in a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Saturday night, Nov. 19, 2022. (Courtesy of Jeff Aston via AP)

Club regulars and newcomers — gay and straight, transgender and cisgender — flocked to Club Q over the weekend to dance, enjoy a comedy show or work behind the bar. What began as a typical Saturday evening of dancing and drinking at the preeminent LGBTQ establishment in the conservative-leaning Colorado city south of Denver ended in tragedy when a gunman entered and began spraying bullets before he was tackled and subdued.

5 dead, 25 injured in shooting at LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs: Live updates

  5 dead, 25 injured in shooting at LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs: Live updates At least five people were killed and more than a dozen injured in a shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs, police said. Live updates.At least two people at Club Q confronted the shooter, who was using a "long rifle," and prevented him from injuring others, Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez said.

A man cries at a cross set at a makeshift display of bouquets of flowers on a corner near the site of a weekend mass shooting at a gay bar, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022, in Colorado Springs, Colo. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey) © Provided by The Associated Press A man cries at a cross set at a makeshift display of bouquets of flowers on a corner near the site of a weekend mass shooting at a gay bar, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022, in Colorado Springs, Colo. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

The 22-year-old suspect is facing five murder charges and five charges of committing a bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury.

The sun shines on a cross for Kelly Loving, one of the victims of the mass shooing at Club Q, an LGBTQ bar on Monday, Nov. 21, 2022, in Colorado Springs, Colo. Crosses for each of the victims are being placed at the memorial outside the club by Redeemer Lutheran Church. (AP Photo/Parker Seibold) © Provided by The Associated Press The sun shines on a cross for Kelly Loving, one of the victims of the mass shooing at Club Q, an LGBTQ bar on Monday, Nov. 21, 2022, in Colorado Springs, Colo. Crosses for each of the victims are being placed at the memorial outside the club by Redeemer Lutheran Church. (AP Photo/Parker Seibold)

Here are the five people killed:

DANIEL ASTON

Daniel Aston, 28, grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma and moved to be closer to family in Colorado Springs two years ago. He worked as a bartender and entertainer at Club Q and cherished the venue as a sanctuary where as a transgender man he could be himself and perform to a lauding audience, his mother Sabrina Aston told The Associated Press.

The self-proclaimed “Master of Silly Business,” Aston had a propensity for making others laugh that started as a child when he would don elaborate costumes and write plays acted out by neighborhood kids. In college, where he was president of his school's LGBTQ club, he put on fundraisers with ever-more flashy productions.

Jeff Aston sits in his Colorado Springs, Colo., home on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022. His 28-year-old son, Daniel Aston, was one of five people killed when a gunman opened fire in a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs on Saturday night. (AP Photo/Thomas Peipert) © Provided by The Associated Press Jeff Aston sits in his Colorado Springs, Colo., home on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022. His 28-year-old son, Daniel Aston, was one of five people killed when a gunman opened fire in a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs on Saturday night. (AP Photo/Thomas Peipert)

″(Daniel’s shows) are great. Everybody needs to go see him,” his mother said. “He lit up a room, always smiling, always happy and silly,” she said.

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  Colorado Springs community mourns Club Q shooting victims: 'We all feel shock and grief' Mourners left flowers and signs in a memorial to the victims after a gunman opened fire in the Colorado Springs, Colorado, club, killing 5 Saturday.Couples holding hands and parents with babies bundled in fleece blankets shuffled along where a makeshift memorial of cellophane-wrapped flowers and handwritten notes had been steadily growing outside the gay and lesbian club since early Sunday.

DERRICK RUMP

Derrick Rump, 38, a bartender at Club Q, was remembered as a loving person with a quick wit who adopted his friends as his family.

Sabrina Aston looks at childhood photos of her 28-year-old son, Daniel Aston, in her home in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022. Daniel Aston was one of five people killed when a gunman opened fire in a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs on Saturday night. (AP Photo/Thomas Peipert) © Provided by The Associated Press Sabrina Aston looks at childhood photos of her 28-year-old son, Daniel Aston, in her home in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022. Daniel Aston was one of five people killed when a gunman opened fire in a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs on Saturday night. (AP Photo/Thomas Peipert)

“He was living his dream and he would have wanted everyone to do the same,” said his mother, Julia Thames, who confirmed his death to ABC News.

She said in a statement that Rump was “a kind loving person who had a heart of gold.”

“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,” she said in the statement.

Childhood photos of Daniel Aston rest on a side table in his family's home in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022. The 28-year-old was one of five people killed when a gunman opened fire in a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs on Saturday night. (AP Photo/Thomas Peipert) © Provided by The Associated Press Childhood photos of Daniel Aston rest on a side table in his family's home in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022. The 28-year-old was one of five people killed when a gunman opened fire in a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs on Saturday night. (AP Photo/Thomas Peipert)

Rump’s friend, Anthony Jaramillo, told CBS News that 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.”

Police say LGBTQ club shooter used 'long rifle' and acted alone: What we know about the attacker and Colorado gun laws

  Police say LGBTQ club shooter used 'long rifle' and acted alone: What we know about the attacker and Colorado gun laws El Paso County District Attorney Michael Allen said investigators were looking into whether the attack should be prosecuted as a hate crime. But charges against the suspect “will likely include first-degree murder,” he said.Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning. The shooting rekindled memories of the 2016 massacre at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, that killed 49 people. Colorado has experienced several mass killings, including at Columbine High School in 1999, a movie theater in suburban Denver in 2012, and at a Boulder supermarket last year.

Jeff and Sabrina Aston sit in their Colorado Springs, Colo., home on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022. The couple's 28-year-old son, Daniel Aston, was one of five people killed when a gunman opened fire in a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs on Saturday night. (AP Photo/Thomas Peipert) © Provided by The Associated Press Jeff and Sabrina Aston sit in their Colorado Springs, Colo., home on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022. The couple's 28-year-old son, Daniel Aston, was one of five people killed when a gunman opened fire in a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs on Saturday night. (AP Photo/Thomas Peipert)

KELLY LOVING

Kelly Loving, 40, had been talking to a friend on a FaceTime call from inside Club Q just minutes before the shooting started. Natalee Skye Bingham told The New York Times that the last thing she said to Loving was: “Be safe. I love you.”

“She was like a trans mother to me. I looked up to her,” Bingham said. “In the gay community you create your families, so it’s like I lost my real mother almost.”

Bingham, 25, said Loving, had only recently moved to Denver and was visiting the club while on a weekend trip to Colorado Springs.

“She was a tough woman,” Bingham said. “She taught me how it was to be a trans woman and live your life day to day.”

Loving’s sister, Tiffany Loving, told the newspaper that the FBI told her that her sister had been killed.

“She was loving, always trying to help the next person out instead of thinking of herself,” Tiffany Loving said.

RAYMOND GREEN VANCE

Raymond Green Vance went to Club Q on Saturday night with his girlfriend, Kassy Fierro, and her father, Rich, the co-owner of Atrevida Beer Co., a local brewery in Colorado Springs. The group was there to celebrate a friend's birthday.

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  What is collateral relief? Colorado Springs suspect had criminal record wiped before shooting A new trend in criminal justice reform wipes the slate clean for some accused of crime. That happened for Anderson Aldrich, the suspect in the Colorado Springs attack.Back in 2021, sheriff's deputies in SWAT gear responded to his home for a bomb threat after he allegedly threatened his mother with a homemade bomb, forcing neighbors in surrounding homes to evacuate while the bomb squad and crisis negotiators talked him into surrendering.

“My sweet baby. ill never be able to heal from this. i want to wake up from this horrendous nightmare. i pray u hear me when i call for you. im so sorry. ill never forgive myself for taking everyone there. i will love you til the day i get to come back home to your arms," Kassy Fierro wrote in a Facebook post Monday accompanied by a photo of the couple.

Vance's mother confirmed her son's death to The Colorado Springs Gazette.

ASHLEY PAUGH

Ashley Paugh, 35, enjoyed hunting and fishing and just shot a deer last week, her sister Stephanie Clark told NBC News. A resident of La Junta, a 7,500-person town about a two-hour's drive from Colorado Springs, Paugh was visiting for the day with a friend when they went to Club Q on Saturday night for a comedy act.

Clark said Paugh had a husband and an 11-year-old daughter, who is “devastated” by her death. It left the family reeling just days before Thanksgiving.

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Associated Press News Researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York and reporter Jesse Bedayn in Colorado Springs contributed to this report. Bedayn is a corps member for The Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

‘Master of Silly Business’ among 5 dead in Colorado shooting .
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — On a typical night at the Club Q, a bastion for LGBTQ people in the largely conservative city of Colorado Springs, 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. But on Saturday it became the site of the latest mass shooting in the U.S. when a gunman with an semiautomatic rifle opened fire and killed Aston and four others. Twenty-five others were injured.

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