The country is still reeling after a gunman opened fire inside an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, over the weekend, killing five people and injuring at least 25 others before being subdued by heroic clubgoers. One of the victims fatally shot was originally from Tennessee, and now her hometown is mourning the tragic loss.
Kelly Loving was one of the five victims killed during the mass shooting at Club Q on Saturday (November 19) night. The 40-year-old Memphis native was remembered by her community during a moment of silence and a candlelight vigil in Cooper-Young on Monday (November 21), per WREG.
Loving's sister, Tiffany Loving, said the last few days have been unthinkable as she mourns her sister. However, she told the outlet that she can find some sense of peace knowing the impact her sister had on others as a role model in the trans community.
"She was caring, kind, and loving. Always trying to help other people, always trying to be there for other people," she said. "She was like a mother to a lot of people. And I was like a mother to her."
Several members of the Memphis LGBTQ+ community showed out in support and grief at the vigil outside OutMemphis. Executive Director Molly Quinn shared why so many people showed up to mourn the loss of five people killed on the other side of the country.
"We have such a sense of closeness, a sense of family and familiar relationships with one another, and that sense of connection is what makes our community so strong," said Quinn.
Saturday's shooting is a stark reminder of the 2016 Pulse Nightclub massacre in Orlando, the second deadliest shooting in U.S. history that claimed the lives of 49 people and injured 53 others, per WMC. Tami Montgomery, owner of karaoke bar Dru's Place that frequently features drag shows, hopes the tragic shootings won't keep the community from living their lives.
"Don't let the extremists create fear and stop you from living your life," Montgomery said. "I won't live my life in fear and I won't stop what I do every day."
On Monday, the Colorado Springs Police Department also identified the other four victims who lost their lives in the shooting include: Daniel Aston, Derrick Rump, Ashley Paugh and Raymond Green Vance.