Friends described Loving as a person who not only wanted her friends to shine but also helped them shine. Loving’s sister, Tiffany Loving, said her sister used her body as a shield to help save a young man’s life during the shooting.
“When the guy came in shooting, Kelly went to turn to look and it (bullet) hit her and she covered, his name is Wyatt, she covered him up,” said Tiffany Loving.
Loving said that she recently got a chance to meet the young man and his parents at a fundraiser. Loving told Fox13 that she wanted to hate the man who committed the crime but said her God told her she has to love him.
The 22-year-old suspect was due in court Monday. Prosecutors charged the alleged shooter with more than 300 counts, including 48 hate crimes. They charged him counts for each person known to be in the club at the time of the shooting.
The gunman, 22 year old Anderson Lee Aldrich, was subdued by patrons and held for arrest by authorities. The suspected shooter is facing five counts of first-degree murder and five counts of a bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury, court records show.
While police haven’t released details about the motive, the nightclub has served as a longtime safe haven for the local LGBTQ community.
At the time she was killed Kelly was on a weekend visit to Colorado Springs.
Kelly Loving, 40, had been talking to a friend on a FaceTime call from inside Club Q just minutes before the shooting started. Natalee Skye Bingham told The New York Times that the last thing she said to Loving was: “Be safe. I love you.”
“She was like a trans mother to me. I looked up to her,” Bingham said. “In the gay community you create your families, so it’s like I lost my real mother almost.”
Bingham, 25, said Loving had only recently moved to Denver and was visiting the club while on a weekend trip to Colorado Springs.
“She was a tough woman,” Bingham said. “She taught me how it was to be a trans woman and live your life day to day.”
Loving’s sister, Tiffany Loving, offered condolences to the families who lost loved ones in the shooting as well as those struggling for acceptance in the world.
“My sister was a good person. She was loving and caring and sweet. Everyone loved her. Kelly was a wonderful person,” she said in a statement.