COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) — A survivor of the Club Q mass shooting and his spouse shared their experience on Tuesday from a Colorado Springs hospital.
Anthony, who is receiving treatment at Centura Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs, spoke from a wheelchair with his partner of 14 years, Jeremy, by his side. The couple has decided to keep their full names private.
Anthony said he lost two “dear friends” in the shooting, Daniel Aston and Derrick Rump.
“We had a safe space that we could all gather in, that we could feel comfortable. And we always went back,” he said of Club Q.
Anthony said he had gone alone to meet up with friends that night, and “everybody was having fun, music was playing, everybody was talking, laughing. Just like always.”
Then he heard gunshots. He fell and crawled to a corner to hide. He said he did not hear much, just screaming, and then the arrival of the police.
Anthony said the shooter “really did harm a lot of pure, true hearts that I don’t know if they’ll be the same.”
‘We’re all human beings and we all stand together’
Anthony said he and Jeremy have lived in Colorado Springs for more than five years. They both agreed that while their personal community was supportive, they could feel judgment when expressing their love in public.
“I have never really felt 100% safe and comfortable, even just walking down the street holding hands,” Anthony said. “Or, you know, you just show one little kiss or something and all of a sudden you’re getting ridiculed.”
Still, they both shared words of unity.
“The most important thing about all of this and all of the hatred in the world is standing together,” Jeremy said. “Standing united and fighting for what you believe in. If you love somebody you have the right to hold their hand, you have the right to kiss them in public if you want to. And so I think the more we do that as individuals and we recognize that we’re all human beings and we all stand together, that’s really what the focus should be and less on who its with.”
Watch the interview with Anthony and Jeremy in the FOX31 NOW video player above.
What happened at Club Q this weekend
The suspect, armed with what police said was a “long rifle,” shot and killed five people at Club Q located at 3430 N. Academy Blvd. late Saturday night. Seventeen people were wounded by the shooting, one person suffered a non-gunshot injury and one person had no visible injuries. Colorado Springs police said they expect there will be more victims with non-visible injuries.
The five individuals who were killed have been identified as:
- Daniel Aston, 28
- Ashley Paugh, 35
- Raymond Green Vance, 22
- Kelly Loving, 40
- Derrick Rump, 38
The 22-year-old suspect, Anderson Lee Aldrich, was arrested and is in the custody of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office.