Club Q shooting victim: Bartender Derrick Rump remembered as “sunshiny, warm and generous”

Club Q shooting victim: Bartender Derrick Rump remembered as “sunshiny, warm and generous”

When Bryant “Tip” Ragan reflects on the life of Derrick Rump, he recalls a man with a personality that was “always very sunshiny, warm and generous.”

Ragan, who teaches early modern European history at Colorado College, said he would see Rump around campus regularly in the years leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic. Rump at the time worked for the university’s catering service, Bon Appétit.

Daniel Aston, right, with Derrick Rump, left, both bartenders at Club Q in Colorado Springs. Aston was killed in the shooting at the club late Saturday night, Nov. 19, 2022. (Photo courtesy Jessi Hazelwood)
Daniel Aston, right, with Derrick Rump, left, both bartenders at Club Q in Colorado Springs. Aston was killed in the shooting at the club late Saturday night, Nov. 19, 2022. (Photo courtesy Jessi Hazelwood)

“He was also a little shy and a little retiring, but he was so curious and had a good sense of humor,” Ragan said.

Rump helped cater multiple events at Ragan’s home and acted as a steadying presence to those around him. The professor described himself as a “very nervous kind of person,” but noted that Rump helped take that edge off before parties when they chatted about Rump’s home in Pennsylvania and other topics.

“We would be waiting for guests and I’d be ramped up and worried,” Ragan said. “Derrick would come up to me, immediately pour me a glass of wine, and tell me, ‘Tip, you can calm down, we’re going to take it from here, everything will be fine.’”

“And I knew it would be,” he said.

Rump, a bartender at Club Q in Colorado Springs, was among the five victims murdered on Saturday night by a gunman, who shot patrons and employees at the LGBTQ+ nightclub just before midnight. At least 18 others suffered wounds.

Rump, whose Facebook page has since been memorialized, was once rooted in Pennsylvania as a 2002 graduate of Kutztown Area Senior High School. Eventually making his way to Colorado, Rump worked as a bartender at Club Q, friend Jessi Hazelwood said.

He was known for making a particular expression with his eyebrows — “one eyebrow all the way up in the middle of his forehead,” she said.

Hazelwood described him as initially shy, but outgoing after he warmed up. “He’s very soulful. Very understanding of other people’s situations,” she said.

Alex Gallagher, 20, passed out tissues to mourners at the memorial outside of Club Q along N. Academy Boulevard on Monday morning. Gallagher, who uses she/they pronouns, frequented the club and left Saturday night about 20 minutes before the shooting.

Rump and fellow bartender Daniel Aston “were in the hospital; they were supposed to be getting better,” she said. Both of them died.

Gallagher and other friends met at a church Sunday to honor the lives of both Rump and Aston. She described Rump’s “tough love” attitude, with a spicy streak.

Keairra Barron, 24, “woke up to everybody texting me” about the shooting. She said she was a friend of Rump and Aston.

At the roadside memorial Monday, a tearful Barron recalled that “Derrick was one of the first people that I first met coming” to Club Q.

She remembers his humor and sassy side, adding that he “was always there when I needed somebody to talk to.”

When she ran into financial troubles, “he’d help me out — pay for my food or whatever I needed.”

Barron met Aston about two years ago, who would join her in her “escapades” — and “then, Derrick would always be in the background, telling us to stop,” she said with a laugh.

“If you haven’t had the chance to meet them, I’m sorry,” she said. “I’m pretty sure you would have loved them, too.”

Denver Post reporter Shelly Bradbury contributed to this story.

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