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‘Everything changed,’ one year later, Club Q survivors share their stories of resilience

Jerecho Loveall and Brianna Winningham
Jerecho Loveall and Brianna Winningham

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- For a group of people in Colorado Springs, the night of Nov. 19 into the morning of Nov. 20, 2022, will forever hold weight and significance.

Within that span of time, a shooter entered the club they were attending and forever changed their lives.

Jerecho Loveall and Brianna Winningham are part of that group, two survivors who carry two unique stories after going to Club Q to celebrate a birthday.

Today, the two work at Laurabelle's Saloon in West Colorado Springs pouring drinks, making cocktails, and running audio for shows. However, behind the everyday routines at the place where they both work, some emotions and triggers instantly transport them back to a night one year ago.

"I went inside to the bar area to get a drink," said Loveall, "and everything changed."

Loveall said he was inside the bar and his best friend Brianna Winningham was outside on Club Q's patio.

"I hear the loud, the loud bangs, and then I see the flashes," said Loveall. "I'm watching people fall, I'm watching people get hit, and then [the shooter] walks down to the dance floor and sprays again."

Springing into action, Loveall said he ran outside to make sure Winningham was okay before trying to help people inside.

"It was a bunch of confusion, and you don't expect something like that to happen, especially in a place that you've been for a long time, in a place that you felt safe, you felt comfortable," said Loveall. "At that time, I didn't know I had actually been shot myself."

Jerecho Loveall lifts his pant leg to reveal where he was shot in the leg the night of the Club Q mass shooting.

Although it's been a year since Loveall took a bullet in his right leg and the entry and exit holes of that wound are now scars, he walks with a limp.

Loveall said the wound is a physical symbol of the emotional pain.

"I forget and then I'll take a step wrong and it'll bring everything back," said Loveall.

Winningham cleaned the bullet hole day after day, all while fighting her own demons.

"I've never cleaned a bullet hole before. I don't know if I'm doing this right," Winningham said laughing.

Winningham can't speak about what she saw or experienced the night of the shooting. For her, the pain is too raw, and she goes back and forth on how she wants to share her story.

"I want there to be other things about me then, you know. Oh, well, you're just the girl that was in, you know, a mass shooting or you're just a trauma survivor, stuff like that," said Winningham. "You know, I want people to see me as a person, not as trauma. "

Though the invisible weight is still there, Loveall and Winningham have chosen to wake up each morning and fight through their fear and pain.

This past summer, the two got jobs at Laurabelle's Saloon, something Winningham never thought she would be emotionally capable of doing.

Brianna Winningham and Jerecho Loveall open up Laurabelle's Saloon to prepare the bar for customers.

"No, it's not what club Q was, but it's a new safe space," said Loveall.

A year later, they're not allowing the tragedy at Club Q to permanently take away their feelings of safety. They're choosing to live with bravery and boldness, for themselves and also for their young kids.

"My nine-year-old little girl is looking at me," said Loveall. "I have to be, you know, a good role model for her and show her that, you know, even though life gets hard, you can still get up each day and live it. You don't have to let it get to you."

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Annabelle Childers

Annabelle is a reporter for KRDO NewsChannel 13. Learn more about her here.


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