A Club Q shooting survivor ducked for cover behind a flipped table and prayed out loud as the gunman opened fire in the Colorado LGBTQ nightclub

Gil Rodriguez and girlfriend Felicia Juvera survived the deadly mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado.
Gil Rodriguez and girlfriend Felicia Juvera survived the deadly mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado.Felicia Juvera
  • A Club Q shooting survivor took cover behind a flipped table and prayed as the gunman opened fire.

  • "I was truly praying on the ground, praying out loud, waiting for it to stop," Felicia Juvera said.

  • Juvera said her US Air Force veteran boyfriend threw his body over hers during the rampage.

A Club Q shooting survivor took cover behind a flipped table and prayed out loud for the shooting to stop as a gunman sprayed bullets into the dimly-lit Colorado LGBTQ nightclub where patrons had been dancing to thumping hip-hop music.

"I was truly praying on the ground, praying out loud, waiting for it to stop," Felicia Juvera, 35, told Insider on Tuesday as she described in detail the harrowing weekend rampage that left five people dead and more than two dozen injured. "I remember saying, 'Lord Jesus please watch over us. Be with us. Please let it stop.'"

Juvera, her boyfriend, and two friends went to the gay nightclub in Colorado Springs shortly after 11 p.m. on Saturday, about 45 minutes before police say the shooter opened fire with a long rifle.

The group planned to stay at the bar for about an hour to support their friend Tara Bush, or "DJ T-Beatz," who was playing music at the club.

"People were enjoying themselves. The vibes were great. There were people on the dance floor," said Juvera, who estimated that about 40 to 50 people were at the club at the time.

Flowers and signs for a memorial for Club Q victims.
Bouquets of flowers sit on a corner near the site of a mass shooting at an LGBTQ bar in Colorado Springs, Colorado.David Zalubowski/AP

Juvera, a Colorado Springs native, had just gotten a second round of drinks and was on her way back to the table where her boyfriend and a friend were when suddenly gunshots rang out.

"We truly thought it was part of the music," said Juvera, explaining that they heard four or six more rounds. "That's when we kind of knew that was not part of the music. Those are gunshots, and we can smell the gun smoke."

Seconds later, Juvera's boyfriend — Gil Rodriguez, a US Air Force Veteran — shouted, "get down," and flipped over the circular table they were at, using it as a "shield."

"We all just got to the ground. And we kind of were lying on top of each other almost," said Juvera as she noted Rodriguez "was laying right on top of me, trying to protect my face."

The lights were low, and Juvera — who only found out she had been grazed by a bullet in her right thigh when she got home — said they never saw the shooter.

But she could tell the gunman was spraying bullets around the club and believed she and her group could have been killed.

"Our backs were exposed. And I think that's the most scariest part — we didn't know where the shooter was," she said.

"Every time you thought maybe it'd be done, there were more and more rounds," added Juvera, who remembers hearing up to 12 shots. "You didn't know where those bullets were flying. You just didn't know anything."

The shooting finally stopped after two patrons, including a US Army veteran, took down the gunman and disarmed him.

Once the bullets stopped flying, Juvera said Rodriguez quickly called 911 and turned off the music that was still playing so he could hear the dispatcher.

"I could see the exit door in the back of the venue pried open, and I just thought, 'If I can get to that door, I'll be safe,'" she said.

A bouquet of flowers is left near Club Q
A bouquet of flowers is left near Club Q, an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on November 20, 2022.(Photo by Jason Connolly / AFP)

As she hurried out of the venue, she saw her DJ friend laying just outside the exit door in the snow with a gunshot wound to her back.

"All I could do at that point was hold her hand and make her feel comfort," said Juvera, adding that the Bush is "recovering" in the hospital.

As cops and medics swarmed the scene, Juvera said her boyfriend helped direct them toward those who were badly injured.

"There was a girl holding her cheek who got hit in the face. There was a girl holding her arm who got hit twice. And everybody, you know, just bleeding," she remembered.

Juvera said she was "thankful" she walked away from the shooting alive and was able to help others in the process.

Two bartenders at the club were among the victims killed in the shooting, and Juvera had been talking to them as she ordered drinks moments before the massacre.

"If I was standing at that bar any longer waiting for drinks, I could have been one of the people who didn't make it," she said.

"It was surreal. I couldn't believe it," Juvera said of the horrific ordeal. "Even now, it hasn't really hit me."

 

Read the original article on Insider