Club Q Shooting Shakes Colorado Springs

On November 20, Club Q, a queer nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, was the site of a mass shooting. An armed assailant attacked the club while attendees were on the dance floor, killing five people. A Colorado Springs press release from November 28 also identifies 17 people injured by gunshots and an additional five who were injured but had no gunshot wounds. The shooter was tackled and restrained by patrons before police arrived on the scene.  

The victims include Daniel Aston (he/him), Raymond Green Vance (he/him), Kelly Loving (she/her), Ashley Paugh (she/her), and Derrick Rump (he/him). Both Rump and Aston were bartenders at Club Q. 

The suspect, Anderson Lee Aldrich (they/them), is being held without bond. On December 6th, 305 formal criminal charges were filed against Aldrich, including counts of first-degree murder and hate crimes. According to the Denver Post, a first degree murder conviction in Colorado has a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Aldrich has a history with the law. They were arrested in June 2021 for a bomb threat at their mother’s residence, although no explosives were found, and no charges were pressed according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. 

Nick Grzecka (he/him), the club’s owner, says he plans to reopen the bar in the future. In an interview with NPR, he explained that Club Q has served as a vital safe and welcoming space for the city’s LGBTQ community for 20 years. Speaking with the Associated Press, Grzecka reflected on the prevalence of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric in the political culture.

“Lying about our community, and making them into something they are not, creates a different type of hate,” Grzecka stated.

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