Family and friends remembered Raymond Green Vance as a kind, selfless person with his entire life ahead of him during a funeral and vigil in Colorado Springs on Saturday.
The 22-year-old, who was one of five people killed during a shooting at Club Q on Nov. 19, was celebrated during a dove release and vigil that followed his funeral.
“There's so many reactions to what has happened. Your feeling is normal. Let it come,” said Rev. Alycia Erickson of Pikes Peak Metropolitan Community Church. “As you move through this time of learning to live in a world without Raymond's bright light in it. I just want to close by saying thank you to Raymond for sharing your light with all of us. Peace.”
Vance was at the LGBTQ club to celebrate the birthday of a friend with his girlfriend of six years, Kassandra Fierro, and her family. Fierro’s father, Rich Fierro, helped stop the shooting.
Kassandra, who sat in a wheelchair as she recovered from injuries sustained that night, spoke about how significant his friendships were to him.
“He talked about his friends a lot and he loved them so deeply. I hope that you guys feel that still,” Kassandra Fierro said. “To Raymond, I’m going to miss you a whole lot. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you. I’m so happy that you’re not in pain. You’re peaceful. I’m blessed to have known you.”
Vance's funeral was the first among the victims to be held. Ashely Paugh’s service will be held privately in La Junta. Daniel Aston’s memorial is scheduled for Dec. 7 in Colorado Springs. The service will be open to the public.
Funeral services for Kelly Loving and Derrick Rump will take place out of state. The services for Loving will take place in Batesville, Mississippi, 62 miles south of Memphis, Tennessee, where she grew up. Rump’s services will be held in Pennsylvania. The date has yet to be determined.
More Club Q coverage
- ‘I don’t feel safe being around or with strangers anymore’: Survivor of the Club Q shooting speaks for the first time
- U.S. Navy sailor Thomas James hospitalized after Club Q shooting
- Club Q victim Daniel Aston was everyone’s best friend and the life of the party
- ‘Club Q will go on’: Co-owner of the Colorado Springs LGBTQ club speaks about the healing process, visiting the memorial and the future of Club Q
- A night of drag: Fundraiser for Club Q staff focuses on love and the strength of community
- Colorado Springs fundraisers are rallying people behind the city’s LGBTQ community after the Club Q shooting
- Colorado Healing Fund facing scrutiny from victims advocates over Club Q funds
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