Colorado shooting victim says LGBT+ club targeted in hate crime saved him

A bartender killed when a gunman stormed an LGBT+ bar in Colorado Springs says the venue “saved his life” in an emotional social media post just seven weeks before the mass shooting.

Daniel Aston was among five shot dead, and 25 others injured, when a suspect armed with two AR-15 type weapons opened fire inside Club Q on Saturday night.

Mr Aston started working at the club in August 2020 after moving to Colorado Springs from Oklahoma. In September, he credited getting the job and being embraced by the gay community for saving his life.

“Disgusting post here, but I love the people I met at this bar. It’s crazy the support and love I’ve received here,” wrote Mr Aston, a transgender man. How crazy it is to me how many people I’ve met that I can call, and know they’ll be there ~physically~ to support me. Mad!

“I’m so grateful to everyone I’ve met here in Colorado. Seriously, thank God for all of you. I don’t know if I would have survived without you. Thank you thank you thank you. Sorry if this is heavy but literally , you all saved my life. All I have in my heart is love for you,” he continued.

People have expressed dismay on social media that Mr Aston has been targeted at a workplace that has brought him so much happiness.

“It hurts so much. It infuriates me that the club that saved Daniel’s life and brought him so much joy is where someone else committed suicide. wrote a Twitter user.

Daniel Aston, an assistant bar manager at Club Q in Colorado Springs, credited the job with saving his life

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Daniel Aston, assistant bar manager at Club Q in Colorado Springs, credited the work with saving his life

(Daniel Aston via Twitter)

Mr Aston’s mother, Sabrina Aston, said Colorado Public Radio her son was the happiest he had ever been after moving to town two years ago.

“He was thriving, having fun and having friends. It’s just amazing. He had so much more life to give to us and everyone, his friends and himself,” she said.

Police have identified Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, as the suspect who allegedly shot five people and injured 25 others before being subdued.

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