Colorado Springs identifies victims and heroes in LGBTQ nightclub shooting

November 22, 2022 - 9:27 AM
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Trenise Billups and Melissa Leye lay flowers near the Club Q gay nightclub following a mass shooting in Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S., November 21, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Mohatt

COLORADO SPRINGS – Colorado Springs officials on Monday identified the five shooting victims who died and the two heroes who helped subdue the shooter who opened fire in an LGBTQ nightclub Saturday night, killing those five and wounding 17 others with gunfire.

Suspected shooter Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, was under arrest after police said he attacked Club Q, a night spot patronized by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people in Colorado’s second-largest city. Police said they had yet to determine a motive for the shooting.

Police Chief Adrian Vasquez identified the dead as Kelly Loving, Daniel Aston, Derek Rump, Ashley Paugh and Raymond Green Vance, providing their preferred pronouns but no further details, while telling reporters their families did not want to be interviewed.

The two patrons who stopped the shooter were identified as Richard Fierro and Thomas James.

Fierro is a U.S. Army veteran and owner of the Atrevida Beer Co. in Colorado Springs, according to his wife, Jess Fierro.

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said he had a chance to speak with Fierro, who he said “saved a lot of lives.”

“I have never encountered a person who had engaged in such heroic actions that was so humble about it. He simply said to me, ‘I was trying to protect my family,'” Suthers told the news conference.

Jess Fierro told Reuters on Monday that her daughter’s boyfriend was killed in the shooting.

She said her husband injured his hands, knees and ankle while seizing a pistol from the shooter and hitting him with it to subdue him. She said the scene was “absolute havoc” and “terrifying.” —Reporting by Kevin Mohatt in Colorado Springs, Rich McKay in Atlanta, Katharine Jackson in Washington, Andrew Hay in Taos, New Mexico, and Joseph Ax in New York; Writing by Julia Harte and Daniel Trotta; Editing by Howard Goller and Cynthia Osterman