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Classroom of Compassion builds memorial for the five lives lost in Club Q shooting

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Tuesday, a California-based non-profit traveled across states to add to the Club Q memorial in Colorado Springs to honor the five lives lost.

Classroom of Compassion built five alters with each victim's picture and name on it.

"To honor each of the victims that were lost in Saturday night's attack," said David Reich, one of the co-founders of Classroom of Compassion.

Classroom of Compassion, located in Los Angeles, was founded in 2016 after the Orlando Pulse Night Club shooting. In that 2016 mass shooting, 49 people were killed. They were mainly Latinx and part of the LGBTQ+ community.

"It devastated us. It made us too afraid to leave our homes, it made us afraid to go out in public, it made us afraid to be intimate with one another, or hold hands in public," said Reich.

What they learned from that tragedy though was that people do care.

"We wanted to figure out a way that we as queer people can show up for those that are going through what our community was going through," said Reich.

Another attack at an LGBTQ+ club is what brought them to Colorado Springs.

"My heart just shattered into a million pieces," said Reich. "I’m angry. I think for me as a queer person I know how much our gay bars mean to us, our gay clubs, our spaces to go to where we can spend time with our chosen family when our actual family may not accept us or welcome us or be there to affirm us," said Reich.

Now part of their chosen family is Daniel Aston, Derrick Rump, Ashley Paugh, Raymond Vance, and Kelly Loving.  They were all memorialized on the alters built Tuesday.

View more photos of the alters below:

"We queer people are a part of everyone's families. We are a part of every region, every political background, every ethnicity, every part of this world, and our lives are filled with the beauty of queer people," said Reich.

Noah and David plan to be in Colorado Springs over the next few days. They'll provide fresh flowers and materials for people to write letters to put on the alters.

They'll be out at the memorial site from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday and 11 a.m. through the day on Wednesday.

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Jessica Gruenling


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