The Colorado Sun is learning about the five people killed in the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs on Saturday, which also left 18 people injured.
We will update this story as we get more information about the victims, Derrick Rump, Daniel Aston, Kelly Loving, Ashley Paugh and Raymond Green Vance:
Last updated on Tuesday, Nov. 22, at 8:52 a.m.
Derrick Rump, 38
Rump was a bartender at Club Q. His death was confirmed by friends.
“He was an awesome guy,” said Tim Bates, 28. “He was the sweetest guy. He was a snarky, snarky, snarky man.”
Rump was a straight shooter, Bates said. At a memorial outside of the club Sunday, Bates poured out the drink his friend often made for him: Dr. Pepper and rum.
He knew Rump from coming to the club for so many years, Bates said.
Sky Lay, another one of Rump’s friends, remembered Rump as sharp, witty, and always kind to others.
“He was one of the sweetest, funniest, quirkiest smartasses you’d ever want to meet,” Lay said.
Autumn Quinn, a performer at Club Q who worked beside Rump for about five years, also recalls Rump being direct, even painfully honest.
He also knew how to be sassy , she said, including when he took the stage to perform a drag show in October, opting for a song by Pat Benatar.
“But there was such a sweet kindness underneath him,” added Quinn, who is trans.
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She and Rump began working at Club Q on the same day during Halloween weekend — most always a chaotic time of year for the venue — after a few hours of training. Their start fell amid a lot of changes at the club when it was also short-staffed. It was a whirlwind for the coworkers-turned-friends, one that never stopped.
“We were kind of thrown into it,” Quinn, 30, said, “and I think that’s how we lived our whole friendship — taking everything as it came to us.”
The turbulence only escalated during the pandemic, when Club Q converted to a to-go restaurant. Quinn recalls “countless hours” spent with Rump sitting and talking, often gossiping but sometimes diving a little bit deeper to really get to know one another. They could talk freely, Quinn said, and became what each other needed, particularly during hard moments.
She said Rump would repeatedly remind her, “take this step by step. It’s just one bad day, not a bad week.”
“And it helped a lot,” said Quinn, who was not at Club Q on Saturday night but showed up after to pick up friends and usher them to safety.
She’ll remember her friend for being welcoming and a person who made others feel safe, understood and accepted. He often greeted coworkers and patrons as they turned the corner to approach the bar, and he could subtly pick up on when they needed someone to listen. Quinn said Rump often carried extra cigarettes with him and would gently ask her and other drag performers if they wanted to take a break outside to have a cigarette when he sensed they needed to talk.
“One thing he always reminded everyone,” she said, “is there’s more to people once you get to know them.”
Daniel Aston, 28
Aston, a trans man and self-proclaimed “Master of Silly Business,” was a bartender at Club Q. His death was confirmed by his friends and his parents.
On a typical night at the Club Q, Aston could be seen letting loose and sliding across the stage on his knees tailed by his mullet to whoops and hollers.
“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,” said Aston’s mother, Sabrina. “I keep thinking it’s a mistake, they made a mistake, and that he is really alive,” she added.
Her son’s eagerness to make people laugh and cheer started as a child in Tulsa, Oklahoma, when he would don elaborate costumes, including the beast from “Beauty and the Beast,” cycle through weird hats, and write plays acted out by neighborhood kids.
Aston preferred dressing as a boy at a young age until teasing from other kids pushed him to try girls clothing. While Sabrina Aston enjoyed helping style her son, she said the fashion led to weight loss. “He was miserable,” she said.
After coming out to his mother, he attended Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and became president of its LGBTQ club. He put on fundraisers with ever-more flashy productions (“He didn’t just stand and lip-sync,” Sabrina Aston made clear) and fanned over ’80s hair bands.
Two years ago, Aston moved from Tulsa to Colorado Springs — where his parents had settled — and started at Club Q as a bartender and entertainer, where his parents would join in the cheers at his shows.
“(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.”
Xander Fuchs, one of Aston’s friends, described Aston as “very welcoming” and “had open arms for everybody who walked through the door.”
Fuchs, who lives in Black Forest, got a call at 3 a.m. from his friend asking if he was at the club. His friend told him that two bartenders, Derrick and Daniel, were killed.
He called Daniel his “surgery buddy,” explaining that the two had top surgery on the same day.
“He was the funniest, happy, go-get-em type of guy. He was the sweetest. He called everybody ‘babe,’ always open for hugs,” Fuchs said.
He met both of them through Club Q about a year ago when they took Fuchs “under their wings.” “Club Q was home,” Fuchs said.
Alex Gallagher, of Monument, left Club Q about 11 p.m. Saturday, less than an hour before the shooting.
“It’s like my home away from home. I consider all of these beautiful people my family,” Gallagher said. “Losing so many people, especially Derrick and Daniel, it’s not going to be the same.”
“Daniel always knew how to make you go from depressed to happy. He always knew how to get the right moments,” she said. She would joke with Daniel that the two would get married if they were still single at 50.
“I love him, I adored him,” Gallagher said. “When I found out that he died, I literally sat on the side of the road and cried for 45 minutes.”
Kelly Loving, 40
Kelly Loving was visiting the club on a weekend trip from her home in Denver, The New York Times reported.
Her sister learned about Loving’s death from the FBI on Sunday, the newspaper reported.
“She was loving, always trying to help the next person out instead of thinking of herself,” Loving’s sister, Tiffany, told The Times. “I was really close with her.”
Tiffany Loving later released a statement to the media, calling her sister “loving and caring and sweet.”
“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. Everyone loved her.”
Ashley Paugh, 35
Family and friends were mourning the loss of Ashley Paugh of La Junta, who they said was one of the five people killed overnight Saturday at Club Q. Paugh leaves behind a devoted husband and 11-year-old daughter, friends and family said in social media posts and an interview with NBC News.
Paugh had gone to Colorado Springs with a friend Saturday to spend a fun day in the city and see a comedian perform at Club Q, sister Stephanie Clark said in an interview with NBC.
Paugh worked at Kids Crossing, a foster care organization in Colorado Springs, according to her online profiles. She had also worked with Early Head Start at Otero Junior College Child Development Services, according to her LinkedIn page.
She strove to find loving homes for foster children, including working with the LGBTQ community to find welcoming placements, her husband, Kurt Paugh, said in a statement.
“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.”
She had a “huge heart” and “meant everything” to her family, the statement said.
“Ashley was a loving wife — she was my high school sweetheart — and she was just an amazing mother,” Kurt Paugh wrote. “Her daughter was her whole world, and she was so proud of Ryleigh, who is a championship swimmer.”
In her free time, Ashley Paugh enjoyed hunting and fishing with her husband.
The shooter “took away the most beautiful soul from our family and many others over this ignorant, hateful, despicable act. She was the best aunt, mother, sister, wife, cousin, niece etc., anyone could ever ask for,” one family member said in a post on social media.
Raymond Green Vance, 22
Raymond Green Vance went to the club with his girlfriend, her parents and other friends to celebrate a birthday.
Vance’s relatives said they were “completely devastated by the sudden loss of a son, grandson, brother, nephew and cousin loved by so many.” It was Vance’s first time in that nightclub, his family said in a statement released to the media.
Vance, who graduated from Sand Creek High School in 2018, had just gotten a job at a FedEx distribution center in Colorado Springs and was looking forward to saving enough money for his own apartment. His family shared a photo of his high school football team and said Vance spent much of his free time with his girlfriend, whom he had been with since middle school. He grew up surrounded by a tight-knit family and was close with his cousins.
“Raymond was a kind, selfless young adult with his entire life ahead of him,” his family said. “His absence will leave irreparable heartbreak in countless lives.”
Vance was at the club with his girlfriend, Kassy Fierro, and her parents, Jess and Rich Fierro. The family owns Atrevida Beer Co., the first “Latin-owned” brewery in Colorado Springs with a female head brewer, and posted about the horrific night on Facebook.
When the shooter entered the club, “it was absolute havoc” and several of them were injured,” Jess Fierro wrote. “With an incredibly heavy and broken heart we lost Raymond, who had been a part of our lives since our daughter was in high school. We are going to miss him and his bright smile so much.”
Kassy Fierro “broke her knee as she was running for cover. Our best friends were both shot multiple times,” Jess wrote. Rich Fierro injured his hands, knees and ankle as he tackled the shooter, she said.
“He was covered in blood,” she wrote. “NO ONE should ever have to witness bloodshed like this.
“We are going through a lot of emotions as a family and as a brewery. We love our #lgbtq community and stand with them. This cowardly and despicable act of hate has no room in our lives or business.”
Kassy Fierro posted a photo of the young couple, calling him the best thing that ever happened to her. “I’ll never be able to heal from this,” she wrote. “I want to wake up from this horrendous nightmare. I’ll never forgive myself for taking everyone there.”
Colorado Sun staff writers Olivia Prentzel, Jennifer Brown, Elliott Wenzler and Erica Breunlin contributed to this report, as did Colorado Sun editor Lance Benzel. The Associated Press contributed to this report.