Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Colorado Springs

Writing about the Colorado Springs tragedy again.  Terry Collins (USA Today) reports:

As Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez somberly took to the podium during a news conference Monday to identify the five victims fatally shot at Club Q nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, he calmly said their names — and their pronouns.

"We respect all of our community members, including our LGBTQ community," Vasquez said. "Therefore, we will be identifying the victims by how they identified themselves and how their families have loved and identified them."

He reads their names: Kelly Loving; Pronouns are “she/her;” Daniel Aston; Pronouns are “he/him;” Derrick Rump; Pronouns are “he/him;” Ashley Paugh; Pronouns are “she/her;” Raymond Green Vance; Pronouns are “he/him."

Authorities decided to take a rare but deliberate step of taking time verifying the correct names and pronouns of the victims by working with their families, and not merely relying on what the coroner’s office provides, a Colorado Springs city spokeswoman told USA TODAY on Monday. 

NBC News notes one of the victims killed:

Ashley Paugh capped off a day trip in this city with a night of fun at the LGBTQ nightclub Club Q when a lone gunman opened fire, killing her and four others, her sister told NBC News in an exclusive interview.

Stephanie Clark said Paugh was a loving mother and wife who was devoted to her family, including her 11-year-old daughter.

"My niece is devastated," Clark said, adding that Paugh "lived for her daughter."

In a phone interview Monday, Clark sobbed and described an intense swirl of emotions in the wake of her sister's death.

"It just doesn't seem real," Clark said. "We're heartbroken. We're sad. We're mad, angry."

USA Today provides a look at Paugh and the others killed in the attack:

Daniel Davis Aston, 28

Aston was identified by his mother in an interview with The Associated Press. Sabrina Aston said her son, 28,  grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, 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.

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

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

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.”

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.”

Loving’s sister, Tiffany Loving, shared her condolences to all those affected by Saturday’s shooting. Tiffany Loving described Kelly as a good and wonderful person.

“She was loving and caring and sweet. Everyone loved her,” Tiffany Loving said in a statement provided to USA TODAY on behalf of the family.

Ashley Paugh

Ashley Paugh, was killed in the attack, according to her husband, Kurt Paugh.

"We’re absolutely devastated by the loss of Ashley," Kurt Paugh wrote in a statement to The Coloradoan, part of the USA TODAY Network. "She meant everything to this family, and we can’t even begin to understand what it will mean to not have her in our lives."

Kurt Paugh said Ashley was "an amazing mother" that is survived by an 11-year-old daughter, Ryleigh, a championship swimmer. 

"She had a huge heart. I know that Ashley cared about so many people," Kurt Paugh wrote. "She helped so many people through her work at Kids Crossing, a nonprofit that helps find loving homes for foster children." 

Paugh's sister Stephanie Clark also posted a remembrance on Facebook. 

"I lost my sister and I am so so sad and so very angry right now," Clark wrote. "She was a sister, daughter, mom, wife, aunt, niece, and cousin. We are all devastated."

Raymond Green Vance, 22

Raymond Green Vance, 22, went to Club Q Saturday night with his girlfriend, Kassy Fierro, and her family to celebrate a friend’s birthday, according to a family statement provided to USA TODAY.

"Raymond was a kind, selfless young adult with his entire life ahead of him," the statement added.

Born in Chicago, Vance spent his entire life in Colorado Springs and lived with his mother and younger brother, according to Vance's family. He was a 2018 graduate of Sand Creek High School and recently got a new job in the city's FedEx distribution center.

Vance's mother described him "as a popular, well-liked young man who never got into any trouble and had plenty of friends." Although Vance had never been to Club Q prior to Saturday, he was supportive of the LGBTQ community and was there to enjoy a show, the statement added.

"Raymond was the victim of a man who unleashed terror on innocent people out with family and friends," according to the statement.

The attack is a tragedy being felt around the country.  The Des Moines Register reports:

Leaders in the LGBTQ community of Des Moines called for unity and vigor in the face of politicized hate and growing violence against queer people in the wake of a deadly nightclub shooting in Colorado.

Dozens gathered outside The Blazing Saddle in the East Village of Des Moines for a candlelight vigil in memory of the victims of a shooting at Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs over the weekend. Five people died and two dozen were injured in the shooting, which has left the country's LGBTQ community in mourning.

The suspect, a 22-year-old man, has been charged with five counts of murder and five counts of a bias-motivated crime causing injury as the investigation continues.

Tahdi Fierro, a drag artist who performs as Synitha DeMornay Sanchez, told the crowd at the Des Moines vigil that now is the time to unite more than ever as others seek to eradicate LGBTQ people.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Tuesday, November 22, 2022.  More details about the attack on the Colorado Springs night club, the Kurdistan continues to be targeted by bombings and drones, and much more.

Julia Conley (COMMON DREAMS) reports:

A mass shooting that killed at least five people and injured at least 18 late Saturday at an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado will be investigated as a hate crime, a local district attorney told reporters Sunday.

"This will be investigated and is being investigated in that lens," Michael Allen, the district attorney for Colorado's 4th Judicial District, said, adding that authorities will consider a number of factors before charging the suspect with a hate crime. Police have not yet described a motive for the shooting.

The FBI is assisting in investigating the shooting.

A shooter, who was identified as 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich, reportedly entered Club Q shortly before midnight wearing body armor and armed with an AR-15 style assault rifle. Police said a "long rifle" was used in the shooting and at least two firearms were found at the scene.

On Sunday morning at least two injured victims were in critical condition.

Police said the suspect was subdued by at least two patrons at the club, who stopped him from shooting more people.

The two who stopped the shooter were Thomas James and Rich Fierro.

As Diana Ross says, so much better if the world just danced.

Instead, hate.

REUTERS notes, "Fierro’s wife Jess Fierro said Monday that her husband, a decorated U.S. Army Afghanistan and Iraq veteran and microbrewery owner, hit the shooter with the suspect’s pistol before he and the other man pinned down the gunman after five people were killed and 17 wounded." Cheynne R. Ubiera (THE SUN) reports:

The nightclub's owners said "dozens and dozens of lives" had been saved by their [Thomas James and Rich Fierro] actions.

"We owe them a great debt of thanks," added Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez.

One of the victims in the shooting was Raymond Green Vance, boyfriend of Fierro’s daughter Kassy.

“Boyfriend is an understatement,” she wrote in a heartbreaking Facebook post, along with a photo of her and Raymond.

"You are my forever. My future. My everything. I love you."

Kassy injured her knee after slipping and falling while trying to run away.

"My dad has always been a hero," she wrote in a separate post.

Meanwhile, the US State Dept notes that it is Iran and Turkey bombing northern Iraq.

The United States expresses its sincere condolences for the loss of civilian life in Syria and Turkey.  We urge de-escalation in Syria to protect civilian life and support the common goal of defeating ISIS.  We continue to oppose any uncoordinated military action in Iraq that violates Iraq’s sovereignty.

If only the US media could also grasp this reality.  Julian Bechocha (RUDAW) notes, "Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday said that Turkey's latest aerial campaign targeting Kurdish fighters in the Kurdistan Region and northern Syria is not limited to an aerial operation, hinting that a ground operation will follow." 

Dilan Sirwan (RUDAW) reports:

The president of the Kurdistan Region on Tuesday met with the Iraqi prime minister in Baghdad, during which both sides emphasized the importance of cooperation in facing repeated violations on Iraq’s sovereignty.

According to a joint statement from Iraqi PM Mohammed Shia al-Sudani’s and President Nechirvan Barzani, one of the topics of the meeting focused on discussing security on the Iraqi border areas.

“They emphasized cooperation to protect Iraq's sovereignty, reject repeated violations, and work to prevent using Iraqi territory as a platform for attacking any neighboring country,” the statement read.

The meeting comes as the Kurdistan Region’s borders have become an arena of instability with Turkish bombardment in the north and Iranian drone and missile attacks coming from the east.

Turkey launched an aerial operation, code-named Claw-Sword, early Sunday, targeting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the Kurdistan Region’s mountainous areas, mostly Sulaimani province, and the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria. One day later, Iran attacked Iranian-Kurdish armed groups, the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) and Komala, in the Region’s Erbil and Sulaimani provinces with missiles and drones. Both campaigns have claimed the lives of several people, including civilians.

The Iraqi foreign ministry said in a statement on Monday that it “categorically rejects and strongly condemns the Iranian bombardment of the Kurdistan region of Iraq with drones and missiles.”

“The repeated attacks carried out by the Iranian and Turkish forces with missiles and drones on the Kurdistan region are a violation of the sovereignty of Iraq, and an act that contravenes international covenants and laws that regulate relations between countries,” it added.

Closing with BROS.

Many love the movie BROS and today it's out on DVD and BLU-RAY.

The following sites updated:

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