Authorities in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Monday released the identities of the 5 people killed in a mass shooting Saturday night at Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub, as well as the names of two people who stopped the gunman.
Raymond Green Vance, Ashley Paugh, Kelly Loving, Daniel Aston and Derrick Rump were all shot and killed in the latest mass shooting. Police said 17 others were also shot in the bar. Club Q, where the shooting unfolded Saturday, has been described as a sanctuary for LGBTQ people in the community.
At Monday’s press conference, Colorado Springs Police Chief Adam Vasquez also identified each of the five people killed by the pronouns they used to identify themselves, and released photographs provided by their families.
We respect all of our community members, including our LGBTQ community. Therefore we will be identifying the victims by how they identified themselves and how their families have loved and identified them.
— Colorado Springs Police Department (@CSPDPIO) November 21, 2022
"I ask that everyone in our community and around the world honor each victim," Vasquez said. "I want to take a moment of silence to honor those community members who lost a loved one."
"I also wanted to identify the two heroes who intervened inside Club Q," Vasquez continued following the moment of silence. "Their exact actions are part of the investigation, so we can't discuss the specifics out of respect for the judicial process, but with their permission, we want to acknowledge their heroic actions. They are: Thomas James and Richard Fierro."
James and Fierro charged at the suspect in the case, who law enforcement officials had previously identified as 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich.
According to the Associated Press, the suspect used an AR-15-style semiautomatic weapon in the attack. A handgun and additional ammunition magazines were also recovered at the scene. CNN reported that he purchased both weapons himself. At Monday’s news conference, police, citing the ongoing status of the criminal investigation, refused to comment on the kinds of guns that were recovered at the scene of the crime.
Aldrich is facing five murder and hate-crime charges, court records show.
“It has all the trappings of a hate crime,” Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said on NBC’s “Today” show Monday. “But we need to look at social media, we need to look at all kinds of other information that we’re gathering from people that knew the individual before we make any definitive conclusions about a motivation.”
According to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, a man with the same name was arrested in 2021 after his mother reported that he had threatened her with a homemade bomb and other weapons. No explosives were found, prosecutors did not pursue charges, and the case was sealed, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported.
On Sunday, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, who became the first openly gay man in the United States to be elected governor in 2018, condemned the nightclub attack.
“My heart breaks for the family and friends of those lost, injured and traumatized in this horrific shooting,” Polis said. “Colorado stands with our LGTBQ community and everyone impacted by this tragedy as we mourn.”
The shooting quickly drew comparisons to the 2016 massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., where a gunman killed 49 people in the deadliest attack on the LGBTQ community in U.S. history.
And it was just the latest mass shooting in Colorado, a state that has experienced several high-profile killings, including the one at Columbine High School in 1999; a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., in 2012; and at a Boulder supermarket last year.
Michael Allen, the district attorney for El Paso County, would not comment on the specific charges that the suspect in the case could face.
“We do not tolerate bias-related crimes in this community,” Allen said.