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Club Q patron played dead to survive shooting

Shrapnel hit Isaiah Aponte's arm as he hid behind a table.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A 24-year-old Air Force veteran is now out of the hospital after he was hurt during the shooting at Club Q.

Shrapnel hit Isaiah Aponte's arm as he hid behind a table. 

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Aponte went to Club Q on Nov. 19 to have a fun night out with a friend. It was his second time at the club.

"We were actually talking about getting food five minutes before it happened," he said. "We didn't listen to our gut and leave. We stayed and the whole thing ended up happening."

Aponte said he and his friend were sitting on a bench inside when the suspect walked in.

"People initially reacting were able to escape through one of the back doors," he said. "My buddy tried to escape right in front of me. I saw him run, get shot three times."

Aponte knew quickly running away wasn't an option. He decided to put down the tables they were sitting at and hide behind them on the ground. 

"While I was seeking cover on the ground, that was when he shot and it went through the table and the shrapnel got stuck in my arm," Aponte said.

With bullet fragments in his arm, Aponte was quiet to stay alive.

"I ended up playing dead for 20 seconds, and once he made it past me and I didn't see his head turn towards my way anymore, that is when I peeked around the corner," Aponte said. 

He rushed out of Club Q and hopped over a fence with his injured arm. Aponte hid in the open bed of a truck in the parking lot until he knew it was safe to come out. 

"People were handing out rags," he said. "'Hey, do you need something for your arm until people get here?'"

Aponte said a police officer drove him to a nearby hospital. 

A wall of candles, flowers and notes covers the front of Club Q more than a week after the shooting. Help and support from the community began moments after shots were fired. 

"At a place like that everybody is looking out for each other rather than just themselves," he said.

Aponte's friend survived, and he's still in the hospital recovering. Aponte got out of the hospital on Friday. 

He's only lived in Colorado Springs for two months, and he starts a new job on Tuesday.

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