DENVER (KDVR) — It has been one year since five people were killed and 19 others injured at an LGBTQ dance club in El Paso County.
The shooting occurred on Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day normally marked by LGBTQ community members remembering advocates and transgender icons who have advanced the cause. Last month, Club Q’s owners announced they plan to establish a memorial and reopen at a new location under the name “The Q.”
“When Club Q was closed in November, our employees were suddenly without work,” wrote Club Q. “The Q will be managed and operated by survivors of the shooting.”
On this anniversary, many prominent Coloradans are offering their thoughts and statements in remembrance of the individuals lost, and those whose lives changed forever that day.
Gov. Jared Polis posted a statement to social media and visited the memorial ceremony scheduled for noon on Sunday. He also met with victims and their families.
“Today, we honor and remember the five individuals whose lives were cut short by the senseless attack on Club Q in Colorado Springs on this day one year ago. Together, Colorado stands united against hate,” said Polis.
Later, the governor issued a full statement.
Let this one-year anniversary be an opportunity for us all to recommit ourselves to being examples of hope and love — that is how we can honor Raymond, Kelly, Daniel, Derrick, and Ashley and keep their memories with us.
Though we will always mourn for those we lost, I find hope in the Colorado Springs community today,” the governor’s statement continued. “Every time this community faces tragedy we come back stronger and I want to thank the community and applaud you for your incredible strength. We can continue to build a Colorado for All, where everyone can thrive no matter who they are, who they love, or how they identify.”Gov. Jared Polis
U.S. Rep. Brittany Petterson spoke out against gun violence.
“Today we face a solemn anniversary as we remember the senseless tragedy at Club Q last year. Dangerous rhetoric & vitriol from radical extremists continues to fuel hate, violence, & the weaponization of the law against the LGBTQ+ community. We must end gun violence and bigotry,” Petterson wrote.
Colorado Springs Fire Department Chief Randy Royal also posted a statement acknowledging the day.
“From our staff members who were directly involved, and our department as a whole, we are all saddened when an event like this so negatively impacts innocent lives and directs hate toward others,” his statement read. “We would like to share that our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those directly involved, their families, and the specific community that was in any way impacted,” said Royal.
The Colorado Springs Police Department also posted in remembrance.
“Now, one year later we remember those we lost – Kelly Loving, Derrick Rump, Ashley Paugh, Raymond Green Vance, & Daniel Aston. In honoring their memories, we celebrate the light they brought to their families, friends, and our entire community,” the department said.
“We know no words will ease the pain and suffering so many are dealing with. Understanding that healing will be ongoing, everyone at CSPD is committed to offering strength and support through it all,” the department finished in a separate post on X, formerly Twitter.
The Colorado Senate Democrats issued a statement Sunday.
“Today marks one year since 5 people were murdered & dozens more injured during the mass shooting at Club Q – a beloved gathering place for the LGBTQ+ community. While we honor the victims & survivors, we recommit ourselves to building a safe CO for all,” the group said.