LGBTQ+ nightspot targeted in Colorado Club Q massacre to re-open

LGBTQ+ nightspot targeted in Colorado Club Q massacre to re-open

Club Q, the Colorado LGBTQ+ club where five people were killed in a 2022 mass shooting, will reopen in a new venue under a modified name, its owners announced.

“Both locally and nationally, Club Q’s reopening sends a strong message that hate will not win, love will always prevail,” the club’s management said in a statement. “Over the last 11 months, we have heard the perspectives of survivors, victims’ families and the greater community. The voices are overwhelmingly strong, Club Q must return – when and where has been the main debate.”

And the owners added: “Safe venues are still very important. Transgender people are being attacked and legislated against throughout the country and the art of drag is under attack as grooming. The Q, in the tradition of Club Q, will stand up to these attacks.”

The new venue will be called The Q and will operate out of the Satellite Hotel in Colorado Springs. Management did not announce a timeline for the re-opening.

The group also said the designing of a memorial for the five victims of the shooting – Daniel Aston, Raymond Green Vance, Kelly Loving, Ashley Paugh and Derrick Rump – is still in progress.

The city has marked the tragedy in other ways.

In June 2023, Richard Fierro, an Army veteran who helped subdue the shooter, was made grand marshal in the city’s Pride parade.

“I’m blown away by the stories I’ve heard ... I already thought I knew what was going on in the LGBTQ community, but I didn’t,” he told The Independent. “And hearing the stories of these kids, it’s still just as hard as it was back in the 80s and 90s when I was watching my friends go through this.

In November, Anderson Lee Aldrich opened fire with an assault-style rifle, killing five and injuring 19 others.

In June, he pleaded guilty to five counts of first-degree murder among numerous other charges and was sentenced to life without parole.

“That is the longest sentence ever achieved in the Fourth Judicial District and the second, to my knowledge, longest sentence ever achieved in the state of Colorado, second only to the sentence achieved in the Aurora theater shooting case,” Fourth Judicial District Attorney Michael Allen said at the time of the case.

The shooter was able to obtain multiple weapons, including one purchased by their mother, despite being charged in 2021 with felony menacing and first-degree kidnapping after making a bomb threat.

The charges were later dropped and its records were sealed.

Critics have argued the ability of the shooter to obtain multiple weapons shows the limits of Colorado’s red flag laws.