What we know about the Colorado Springs victims: An entertainer, a ‘good listener,’ a milestone reached

Written by on November 21, 2022

One victim was a self-described “Master of Silly Business,” a bartender at the night club, another was known for a “heavy hand” pouring drinks to friendly patrons and doling out life advice.

A third had just celebrated a 40th birthday and prepared to see friends for Thanksgiving this week. 

Family and friends of victims of a mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs began to identify and mourn loved ones lost in the tragedy this week. Authorities have not officially confirmed the names of the five people killed among the 22 who were shot when a gunman opened fire at Club Q just before midnight Saturday, but information is starting to emerge.

Here’s what we know:  

Daniel Davis Aston, 28

Aston was identified by his mother in an interview with the Associated Press. Sabrina Aston said her son grew up in Tulsa and moved to Colorado Springs two years ago. 

Aston, a transgender man, was a well-known bartender and entertainer at Club Q, the site of the massacre. 

“It’s just a nightmare that you can’t wake up from,” Sabrina Aston said.

This undated photo provided by Jeff Aston, shows his son Daniel Aston. Daniel Aston was one of five people killed when a gunman opened fire in a nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Nov. 19, 2022.

His mother told a reporter he had a penchant for entertaining at a young age. He attended Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and became president of its LGBTQ club.

“We are in shock, we cried for a little bit, but then you go through this phase where you are just kind of numb, and I’m sure it will hit us again,” she said. “I keep thinking it’s a mistake, they made a mistake, and that he is really alive.” 

Derrick Rump, 38

Rump was a bartender at Club Q. His Facebook account listed attending Kutztown Area Senior High School in his native Berks County, Pennsylvania. 

The Colorado Springs Gazette reported that Rump was a co-owner of Club-Q. 

‘WHEN WILL IT STOP?’ LGBTQ community, Pulse survivors react to Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs

Anthony Jaramillo, a friend of Rump, told CBS News he was a staple at the bar and often visited friends home in Pennsylvania. 

“Loving, supportive, with a heavy hand in his drink pouring, and just a really good listener and would not be afraid to tell you when you were wrong instead of telling you what you wanted to hear and that was really valuable,” Jaramillo said.

Aaron Ward, a neighbor of Rump, heard news of his death on Monday morning. As Rump often worked late shifts at Club Q, Ward had few interactions with Rump, but remembers him for his kindness.

“I was worried because I hadn’t seen his car in two days,” Ward said. “Someone came over a couple days ago and said they found his phone at the club and they couldn’t find him anywhere… Any time I talked to him or saw him, he was always very nice, very kind, very respectful. What little I knew of him, he was a great guy.”

LGBTQ RESOURCES:How to help Club Q victims after Colorado Springs shooting

WHAT DOES THE ‘Q’ IN LGBTQ MEAN?:What does the ‘Q’ in LGBTQ stand for? How the word ‘queer’ was reclaimed.

Kelly Loving, 40

Last week, Natalee Bingham celebrated Kelly Loving’s 40th birthday at her Denver home with a small cake and a few close friends. For Bingham, 25 and transgender, it was a big deal to celebrate another trans woman’s 40th birthday – many of her transgender friends had died young, she said. Reaching 40 felt like a milestone.

“It gives us hope we could live a long time,” Bingham said. “It gave me hope that we could live a long, normal life.”

On Saturday, Loving’s life was cut dramatically short. Loving had called Bingham via FaceTime as she entered the club minutes before the shooting to excitedly show off her new outfit and hairstyle.

Loving moved from Memphis to Denver earlier this year, hoping to find a community more embracing of her identity, Bingham said. She met Loving through a mutual friend and immediately the two hit it off, she said. Bingham and Loving had planned on meeting this week for Thanksgiving dinner.

“We were going to have friends over. We were all going to cook,” Bingham said. “It’s really, really crazy.”

Contributing: James Bartolo, The Pueblo Chieftain.

You can reach Nick Penzenstadler at npenz@usatoday.com

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