The LGBTQ+ community is mourning the loss of Raymond Green Vance, Kelly Loving, Daniel Aston, Derrick Rump, and Ashley Paugh from the horrific shooting that took place at Club Q in Colorado Springs over the weekend.
According to The New York Times, the gunman arrived at Club Q “heavily armed and wearing a military-style flak jacket” and was carrying “tremendous firepower.” The suspect behind the Club Q shooting is currently detained by the police.
One of the survivors of this horrific tragedy, Richard M. Fierro, is a veteran who served in the military for 15 years and had gone to Club Q to watch a drag show. Fierro revealed during an interview with The New York Times that he was one of two people who were able to stop the gunman from doing even more damage. The report read:
“As he held the man down and slammed the pistol down on his skull, Mr. Fierro started barking orders. He yelled for another club patron, using a string of expletives, to grab the rifle then told the patron to start kicking the gunman in the face. A drag dancer was passing by, and Mr. Fierro said he ordered her to stomp the attacker with her high heels. The whole time, Mr. Fierro said, he kept pummeling the shooter with the pistol while screaming obscenities.”
However, there are conflicting reports regarding the identity of the second person who helped Fierro stop the gunman. A drag performer known as Del Lusional, who performed at Club Q during the night of these tragic events, has written a series of tweets noting that Fierro was helped by a person who identifies as a trans woman and who does not work as a drag artist.
Del Lusional wrote:
“The one who saved my life and stomped the shooter’s face in was not a drag queen, she is a trans woman. Let’s not call trans women drag queens during this time of grieving over a transphobic attack.”
The drag artist added:
“I also want to make it clear, I don’t think Richard knew that she’s not a drag performer. But now that we know, let’s correct it.”
These senseless acts of violence against the LGBTQ+ community need to stop. It is now clearer than ever that the transphobic and homophobic rhetoric from alt-right personalities in the past few years has been building up to something like this happening yet again in the U.S., despite how much the 2016 Pulse shooting had an effect in this country.
In the meantime, we also have to thank these two heroes for stopping the gunman from hurting and/or killing even more LGBTQ+ individuals during the Club Q shooting.