Colorado shooting victim says LGBT+ group targeting hate crimes saved him

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

Daniel Ashton was among the five people shot dead, with 25 others injured, when a suspect armed with two AR-15-style guns opened fire inside Club Q on Saturday night.

Mr. Ashton began working at the club in August 2020 after moving to Colorado Springs from Oklahoma. In September, he took the job and was embraced by the gay community for saving his life.

“Tough post here, but I love the people I’ve met at this bar. It’s crazy how much support and love I’ve received here,” wrote Mr Ashton, a trans man. “Like it’s so wild for me how many people I’ve met that I can call and know will be there ~physically~ to support me. Crazy!

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

People took to social media to express their dismay that Mr Ashton had been targeted in a workplace that had brought him so much happiness.

“This hurts a lot. It angers me that the club that saved Daniel’s life and brought him so much joy was the place where someone else took his life.” He wrote a Twitter user.

Daniel Ashton, assistant bar manager at Club Q in Colorado Springs, credits the job with saving his life

(Daniel Ashton via Twitter)

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

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

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

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