COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Colorado is mourning five community members whose lives were cut short Saturday at Club Q.
Friends who knew them want you to know who they are, too.
"They were very kind, very gentle, gentle giants," said Tiara Kelley, a Club Q employee who knew Daniel Aston and Derrick Rump.
Kelley said she had just seen Aston and Rump at work on Friday, and never expected that would be the last time she talked to them.
"We were sitting in the dressing room talking all the things we were going to be doing in the future," Kelley said. "Two of the kindest people I had ever met. Daniel had an infectious smile. Same thing with Derrick, just an individual who really appreciated life and people."
She described the club as more of a family.
"We look out for each other, we help each other," Kelley said.
Kelley was supposed to be at Club Q Saturday night, but ended up getting sick and stayed home. When she heard about the shooting, she said she frantically called friends to make sure they were okay.
"It was hard to get ahold of anybody because everyone was trying to find out what was going on," Kelley said.
This is not the first time she's gone through a tragedy like this. Kelley grew up in Orlando and was there at the time of the Pulse Nightclub mass shooting in 2016, where 49 people were killed and 53 were injured.
"All of this is déjà vu all over again — all the interviews, all the questions, it's the same and nothing has changed," Kelley said. "For me to be living through this twice in one lifetime is absolutely ridiculous."
She's now fighting extra hard for change.
"We appreciate all of the prayers and thoughts and concerns, but ultimately, what we are asking for is change. We need to see changes that are going to be effective to make sure this doesn’t happen again," Kelley said. "This is not about this man that went in there and took our friends' lives. This is about the lives of those people whose lives were lost, to make sure this is something that will continue to work towards change so that we don’t have to say goodbye to anymore of our friends."