14 empty chairs on Thanksgiving after 3 mass shootings

A janitor is on duty at a Virginia Walmart. A 40-year-old woman returned home to Colorado Springs from vacation. A young man is next to his girlfriend, watching her friend perform a drag show.

Three college football players. A mother who helps foster children. A bartender who remembers your drink and another who dances.

White and black, gay and straight, old and young. The collection of new dead in just three mass shootings this month is a reflection of the ideals America prides itself on this time of year in November — inclusion, difference aside. Fourteen people had no idea that their last Thanksgiving was over.

Six people were killed in Tuesday’s shooting at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, the 33rd mass shooting in November alone and the deadliest mass shooting in the U.S. this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. The 606th shooting incident.

The shooting followed the Nov. 3 killing of three University of Virginia students. Thirteen and five were killed Saturday night at a gay club in Colorado Springs.

Yesterday’s parents, children and friends become Thursday’s empty chairs.

“She’s going to spend Thanksgiving at my house,” Natalee Skye Bingham said of her friend Kelly Loving, a Memphis native who promised to deliver An assortment of Southern favorites – deviled eggs, kale, baked macaroni and cheese.

“She can’t wait to cook for me,” the woman said. Bingham said. “I can’t wait to cook for her.”

Instead, she was killed inside Club Q on an evening designed to cheer her up. “Now, I have one less person at my table,” the woman said. Bingham said.

All three shootings took place in places that were all too familiar to those inside. safe.

Club Q is widely described as the “family” of LGBTQ and straight patrons who come for drinks and shows. A University of Virginia athlete was shot dead on a bus returning from watching a class. Now a Walmart store, an instantly recognizable place across America, the store is located in a former colony older than America itself. The Virginia State Seal was created by the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Its motto is: “Sic Semper Tyrannis”. So always to the tyrant.

“It’s a small town and the Walmart is across the street,” said Sapporah Watkins, 28, who lives nearby. “Either you worked at Walmart, or a friend of a friend, or whatever. It was unexpected. Indeed.”

At the University of Virginia, football players killed — Devon Chandler, LaVell Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry, “a vibrant, beautiful young man” — celebrated at a memorial service that drew some 9,000 people.

Intimidating on the field, players are remembered as sweet little boys. gentlemen. Davis, one of the team’s wide receivers, has tattooed on his arm the number of the freeway exit leading into his hometown of Ridgeville, South Carolina, which he said sounds like “the biggest city in the world,” recalled one teammate.

His teammate, Mr. Perry, who used to dress up as a red Power Ranger for Halloween as a kid, was so obsessed with his costume that he didn’t take it off until after Thanksgiving. And Mr. Chandler’s family still has a video of him dancing in a parking lot when he was 10 years old.

“To my three young kings, I am forever grateful,” their coach, Tony Elliott, said during the ceremony. “Thank you for being the light of the world.”

At Club Q, half a country away, with its bingo and karaoke nights and weekend drag shows, Derrick Rump and Daniel Aston are popular bartenders.

Friend and colleague Shadavia Green, 38, said: “Daniel’s smile is seen all over the club and you say, ‘Let me find a reason to walk over,’ just to get closer to Daniel.”

gentlemen. Aston, 28, who is transgender, enjoys performing in shows.

“He’d get crazy wigs and costumes, he’d jump across stages, he could slide on his knees,” his mother, Sabrina Aston, told The Associated Press. “And he was funny. Everyone started yelling Shout.”

Drag performer Mr Tiara Kelley said. Mr Rupp, Aston welcomed her into the Club Q family a month ago and always has a Fireball whiskey or other special concoction ready for her after the show.

“They were just two of the most amazing people,” she said. “It’s not something you often encounter at a bar to have the bartenders so engaged and interested,” she said.

Raymond Green Vance, 22, was nothing like the regulars – he only set foot in Club Q for the first time on Saturday, with his girlfriend since middle school and her father, Richard Richard M. Fierro Watching the show together Veterans are happy to be invited along.

“These kids want that life, want to have fun, have fun,” he said later describing that night. “I’m happy about that because that’s what I’m fighting for, so they can do whatever they want.”

When filming begins, Mr. Fierro leaped to his attackers, saving countless lives.

But later, when the survivors huddled together, the devoted boyfriend was not among them. “My little girl, she screamed,” Mr. “I cried with her,” Fierro said.

In the Chesapeake, police said, the identity of the deceased was identified a day after Tuesday night’s shooting, when a longtime Walmart manager arrived at the store armed with a pistol and extra ammunition and fired at the store. He shot himself before committing suicide.

First up is the name: Randall Blevins, a longtime member of the team that sets prices and arranges merchandise. Brian Pendleton is a maintenance worker known for helping with any problem at hand.

Then came the adjective, painfully familiar: “Quiet,” a neighbor said of one victim, Tyneka Johnson. Another called her a “lovely young lady”.

“What a nice guy,” a friend said of Mr. Trump on Facebook. Pendleton.







They are one of the qualities Americans are most grateful for, now expressed in far too short obituaries.

chris cameron, Amy Qin, Chris Ream, Dave Phillips, Eliza Fawcett, Nicholas Bogle-Burroughs and Rich Griset contributed reporting.

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