COLORADO SPRINGS — This weekend marked one year since the mass shooting at Club Q, an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs. Daniel Aston, Kelly Loving, Ashley Paugh, Derrick Rump, and Raymond Green Vance were killed in November 2022.
On Sunday, more than 100 people gathered in the parking lot of Club Q to honor and remember the lives lost, while supporting the survivors of the shooting. Speakers included Governor Jared Polis, Mayor of Colorado Springs Yemi Mobolade, and District Attorney for the Fourth Judicial District Michael Allen.
“One year later, and I stand before you again, and there are still no words," said the owner of Club Q, Matthew Haynes. "It simply was just a normal night, at Club Q. And then out of nowhere, in one hate-filled act lasting less than one minute, five beautiful people lost their lives.”
Michael Anderson, who was bartending on the night of the shooting, addressed the crowd on Sunday.
“This building is a reminder of our greatest nights spent together, but also our most horrific night together," said Anderson. "The minute we forget what the face of unbridled hatred looks like, it creates the opportunity for it to continue to appear. May we never forget, and may we all know that forever and ever, love will always conquer hate.”
Jeff and Sabrina Aston, Daniel Aston's parents, also spoke at the ceremony. Jeff read a poem he wrote for his son, who loved poetry:
"What can I do now that you're gone.
Now that you've moved to the great beyond.
My bicycle wheel has lost it's spokes.
No one's around to laugh at my dad jokes.
You lit up a room with your smile and your wit.
You and Club Q made a good fit.
But random bullets from an angry man took away all your dreams and plans.
Now, all that loved you must make a new start, with your light to guide us within our hearts."
Jeff said he wrote the poem over the summer, after feeling inspired by his son's poetry.
"I could just feel him closer, because I know he loved poetry and I think he would like that," said Jeff about writing the poem. “It just brought his presence to me.”
Daniel's partner, Wyatt Kent, came to the memorial to reinvigorate it with fresh flowers, incense, and a bunch of love. Kent was performing on the night of the shooting inside of Club Q.
“It feels like yesterday and five years ago, all at the same time," said Kent. “I have so many words for these five [people], these angels who have guided me in the last year. But mostly it's 'Thank you.' It's 'I see you and I feel you all the time.' And it's that we are always working in your names.”
Club Q Shooting