Two bartenders have been identified among five people killed in the mass shooting at a gay club in Colorado – where a witness said a night of dancing was interrupted by gunshots, shouting, shattered glass and blood everywhere.
Daniel Davis Aston, 28, was killed in the shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs, his mother told ABC News.
“He was our baby and he was our youngest,” Sabrina Aston told the outlet.
Fellow bartender Derrick Rump was also killed in the attack, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette.
Colleagues described Rump to the local paper as funny and bubbly, with one saying he “always kept his smile on”.
Aston had completed his transition to man in June and was a drag performer, as well as a bartender, according to friends and social media posts.
“He was always, ‘Do you need anything?’” Leia-Jhene Seals, a drag performer who took the stage at the club on Saturday night, told the Gazette.
Law enforcement authorities said earlier on Friday that suspect Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, allegedly entered the club just before midnight and immediately began to open fire. The attack also injured 18 people.
Brave patrons confronted the shooter and were able to stop him from causing further bloodshed, police said. Aldrich was in custody at a local hospital.
Witness Joshua Thurman described the terrifying scene, telling reporters on Sunday he didn’t realize at first someone was shooting.
“I thought it was the music, so I kept dancing. Then I heard another round of gunshots, then me and a customer ran to the locker room, got into bed and locked the doors. doors, and immediately called the police,” the 34-year-old said.
Truman remembers hearing screams from patrons as Aldrich allegedly fired into the crowd.
He said he was thinking of “my mother, my friends, my loved ones” as he hoped he would make it out alive.
“There were bodies on the ground,” he told reporters, “blood, broken glass, broken cups and outside it was worse.”
He added, “This is the only LGBTQIA+ place in the entire city of Colorado Springs. What are we supposed to do? Where are we supposed to go? How are we supposed to feel safe in our surroundings when it’s just got shot?”
Investigators are investigating the motive and said they will weigh hate crime charges.
“Club Q is devastated by the senseless attack on our community,” the site wrote on Facebook. “Our prayers and thoughts are with all the victims and their families and friends. We thank the quick reactions of the heroic customers who subdued the shooter and put an end to this heinous attack.
New York Post