A bartender living his dream. A 22-year-old with a “bright smile.” A trans woman who helped teach other trans women how to be resilient. A mother of an 11-year-old. A performer who loved ’80s music and dancing.
The family and friends of five people killed Saturday night in a shooting at Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, said they were shocked and saddened by the news of their deaths.
Authorities identified the victims in a news conference Monday afternoon.
Derrick Rump, 38
Derrick Rump was a kind, loving person who “had a heart of gold,” his mother Julia Thames said in a statement to KRDO.
“He was always there for my daughter and myself when we needed him,” Thames said, adding that he considered his Colorado friends his family.
“He was living his dream and he would have wanted everyone to do the same,” Thames said.
A representative for Rump’s family declined to speak to CPR News. But in interviews with other media outlets, some of Rump’s relatives said the Pennsylvania native moved to Colorado more than a decade ago to start a new life.
"He found a community of people that he loved … and he felt that he could shine there, and he did," Rump's sister, Julia Kissling, told WFMZ.
One of those people Rump found was Rufio Jimenez, who’s worked at Denver’s Tracks nightclub for a decade. Jimenez also runs his own entertainment company that’s worked with Club Q for years. That’s how he met Rump, a bartender at Club Q.
“He’s a sweetheart,” Jimenez said, calling him a longtime close friend. “He’s a leader at heart, I would say. He’s calm and quiet, sassy when he wants to be. But just super sweet and dedicated and a hard worker.”
Word of the Club Q attack spread quickly through Tracks on Saturday night and Sunday morning, Jimenez said.
“My heart just dropped,” Jimenez said because he guessed his friend would go out of his way to try to protect club patrons.
“And that’s what he did,” Jimenez said. “What I was told is that he was running around trying to tell people to run and leave. And he got shot.”
“He’s a hero to us,” Jimenez continued. “It sucks that he was such a good person, that he was the one that had to die.”
Daniel Aston, 28
Daniel Aston loved 1980s music and hats, according to his mother Sabrina Aston. He was a bartender at Club Q and also performed in shows, where he usually danced, his mother said.
Aston had a big group of friends in Oklahoma, but he moved to Colorado Springs two years ago after his parents convinced him to move to the mountain state, where they had relocated to be near grandchildren. Daniel Aston followed them and got a job at Club Q, where he quickly found another big community of friends.
“He was the happiest he had ever been,” Aston said. “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 to his friends and to himself.”
Kelly Loving, 40
Ariel Hill has typical memories of her friend Kelly Loving. The good, bad, ugly and the unforgettable.
When she learned Loving was fatally shot at Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, all those memories flooded back, leaving her speechless.
“I wouldn’t be the girl I am today if it wasn’t for Kelly,” Hill said. "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.”
Loving was a trans woman and mother figure in her respective communities, Hill said.
Loving's sister Tiffany Loving spoke highly of her sibling in an emailed statement.
“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," she wrote. "My sister was a good person. She was loving and caring and sweet. Everyone loved her. Kelly was a wonderful person."
Raymond Green Vance, 22
Raymond Green Vance was a kind, selfless young adult with his entire life ahead of him, according to a statement from his family. His closest friend describes Vance as gifted, one-of-a-kind, and willing to go out of his way to help anyone.
Vance had recently started a new job at a Colorado Springs FedEx distribution center and was thrilled when he received his first paycheck, his family wrote in the statement. Vance lived with an adoring mother and younger brother but couldn't wait to save enough money to get his own apartment.
Saturday night was Vance's first time at Club Q, and although he is supportive of the LGBTQ community, his family said he was not a member of it. Vance was at the club to celebrate a birthday and watch a performance with his longtime girlfriend, her parents, and her parents' friends.
Vance graduated from Sand Creek High School in 2018. His mother described him as a popular young man who never got into any trouble and had plenty of friends.
“Raymond spent most of his spare time with his girlfriend (whom he had been with since middle school) and playing video games, which were his favorite hobby and something he hoped to turn into an online career,” the family wrote in the statement.
Vance's family said they are still coming to terms with the fact he is gone.
“His absence will leave irreparable heartbreak in countless lives,” they wrote in the statement.
Ashley Green Paugh, 35
Ashley Paugh was committed to making a difference in the community. She loved being outdoors and enjoyed hunting, fishing and riding four-wheelers, her husband Kurt Paugh said.
She was proud of her 11-year-old daughter Ryleigh, who was her whole world and the family was reeling from her loss, he wrote in a statement.
“We can’t even begin to understand what it will mean to not have her in our lives,” Kurt Paugh said. “Ashley was a loving wife, she was my high school sweetheart, and she was just an amazing mother.”
Paugh enjoyed helping people through her work at Kids Crossing, a nonprofit that helps find loving homes for foster children, her husband said. She would do anything for the kids, including traveling across southeastern Colorado to raise awareness and encourage people to become foster parents.
She also worked with the LGBTQ community to find welcoming foster placements for children, Kurt Paugh said. “During the holidays, Ashley organized giving trees and delivered them to businesses so that foster kids could have brighter holidays,” Kurt Paugh said.
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