LUBBOCK, Texas — A mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs over the weekend left five killed and 19 others injured.
The five who died have been identified as Daniel Aston, 28, Raymond Green Vance, 22, Kelly Loving, 40, Ashley Paugh, 35, and Derrick Rump. 38.
22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich is accused of opening fire at Club Q, and is being held on multiple murder and hate crime charges.
Benjamin Terry woke up Sunday morning to the tragic news.
“I literally read the headline on my phone and I just cried,” Terry said. “It’s deeply important to me as just an LGBTQ person within this community, and it happened in a town really not that far away from us.”
Terry said he’s a bartender in Lubbock. Two of five who lost their lives in the shooting, Aston and Rump, were bartenders so he said this hit very close to home.
“Violence and gun violence are always the things that I worry about just as a bartender,” Terry said. “Now to see that a queer bartender in a town not far away from me was shot and killed just doing his job, it affects me really hard, and it was really kind of hard to get out of bed that day.”
Terry decided to organize a candlelight vigil Monday evening at the Timothy Cole Memorial near Texas Tech University’s campus to show the importance of community.
Alyssa DeHoyos is the president of nonprofit LubbockPRIDE who said even though they didn’t know the victims personally, this still affects the LGBTQ+ community nationwide.
“There’s so much hate when there are people there who weren’t even doing anything,” DeHoyos said. “They were there to have a great night, enjoy entertainment, spend the night with some friends having a great time, and then some of them just never made it home.”
There have been over 600 mass shootings in the U.S. this year. This was the sixth mass killing this month.
“I’m tired of my friends being murdered, and I’m tired of us just waiting for it to stop,” said Jacq Taylor, candlelight vigil attendee. “We’re done waiting for it to stop.”
DeHoyos said LGBTQ+ community in Lubbock is always here to support, just like they were at Monday night’s vigil.
“For a lot of us, especially in West Texas, there’s kind of a fear always lingering. There are people we get messages from looking to move to Lubbock, and they are cautious and curious about what the environment is like,” DeHoyos said. “It’s just a lot to process that we even have to just fight for, it feels like, to just exist as who we are.”