COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) — David McRae had only been coming to Club Q for a few months with their partner when the shooting happened Saturday.
McRae and their boyfriend got to Club Q on Saturday night, paid their cover, said hi to some friends then walked to the back patio to smoke.
“Not two minutes later did we start hearing shots. It sounded like someone was banging on a table or banging on a glass door really, really hard, trying to get someone’s attention,” McRae said. They had been there for only 12 minutes before they were calling 911.
A dozen people on the smoker’s patio at the time were all looking at the door expectedly until someone burst through.
“They fell to the floor and were scrambling on their hands and knees to get away from the door, and the door slammed shut and the glass shattered, and that’s when everyone kind of freaked out. My boyfriend upended a sofa for people to hide behind. I dropped my drink,” McRae said.
‘Lots of screaming, lots of blood, lots of crying’
The couple was able to help others get through the courtyard and over a fence outside. Two women who had been shot were coming to them for help. They applied pressure to the wounds while they all huddled in the snow until responders arrived.
After the women were able to get help, they walked to the front of the club.
“That’s where I saw people being carried out by their arms and legs. There was lots of screaming, lots of blood, lots of crying,” McRae said.
McRae is still processing the trauma, and some survivor’s guilt, because they knew one of the victims, Derrick Rump.
“Derrick was becoming a very fast friend of ours. He made us feel very welcomed, very at home. He was the reason why we were coming back. He was very caring, wonderful person,” McRae said.
What was becoming a safe space is now a place of pain. But this pain is not something McRae nor the rest of their community will let alter their progress.
“I don’t want to give this person an ounce of satisfaction. If his only goal was to shutdown a gay club, I don’t want to give him that victory. Because LGBTQ spaces are so important,” McRae said.