COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Tuesday, a survivor of the Club Q mass shooting in Colorado Springs shared his experience during a news conference with local and national media.
KRDO learned that Anthony, a man in his early 40s who is keeping his last name private, suffered shrapnel wounds in the the LGBTQ+ nightclub tragedy and is one of three victims in stable condition at Centura Penrose Hospital.
"I was sitting near the front entrance when everything happened," he explained while sitting in a wheelchair and holding hands with his partner of 14 years, Jeremy. "All I know is I was hit, fell and crawled to a corner. I didn't get a good look at the suspect and he didn't say anything. It was quiet. I just had panic and fear. I wasn't trying to pay attention to anything going on around me."
Jeremy was at home that night.
"The initial thought was that I just needed to get to him," he said.
Despite being injured and in shock, Anthony did his best to reassure his partner.
"All I did was call him and told him that there's been a shooting, I've been involved, I'm OK," he said. "I went to the hospital and he was there. I gave him a hug. You have to count your blessings every day."
The couple has been together for 14 years, and met while Jeremy was working in a Denver area club; they moved to Colorado Springs in 2017.
"I've found Denver to be much more accepting of (alternative lifestyles)," Anthony said. "I've never felt 100% safe and comfortable here. The negativity... it's just sad that it gets into someone's head and pushes them to feel like they need to take it out on somebody."
While Anthony said that he'll be more cautious going out from now on, Jeremy said that he'll never go to bars or clubs again.
"If you love someone, you have the right to express it in public, if you want to," Jeremy said. "The more we do that, that's really where the focus should be."
During the emotional news conference, Anthony fought back tears at times and Jeremy occasionally leaned over to kiss his partner on the head.
Anthony said that he hopes to return home for Thanksgiving.
Hear the survivor, who wished to be identified only by his first name, and his husband speak below: