Richard Fierro is an U.S. Army veteran who was named by police as one of the two heroes credited with subduing the Club Q mass shooter, likely saving other lives.
Fierro spoke to the news media on November 21, 2022, in an emotional press conference. “I wasn’t thinking. I just ran over and got him,” he said. He said his combat training kicked into action and provided him with “the reflex. Go. Go to the fire. Stop the action. Stop the activity. Don’t let no one get hurt.”
According to The Denver Post, Fierro is a veteran of the U.S. Army. Fierro was in the Army for 15 years, serving “three tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, leaving with the rank of major,” the newspaper reported.
Fierro owns Atrevida Beer Co. in Colorado Springs with his wife.
Fierro’s wife and daughter were with him when the gunman entered the club; his daughter Kassy broke her knee and her boyfriend, Raymond Green Vance, was one of five people to lose their lives, Fierro said in the news conference.
The family went to the club to see Kassy’s junior prom date perform, he said.
The other hero was named as Thomas James by Colorado Springs police. He has not spoken publicly. However, Fierro commended him during the news conference, explaining how the other hero helped him subdue the killer.
Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, the accused shooter, burst into the LGBTQ-friendly nightclub and opened fire, police say. Aldrich is in the hospital. Aldrich shot and killed five people and left 19 others wounded, 17 from gunshot wounds, according to police.
Here’s what you need to know:
Fierro, an Army Veteran, Told the Media ‘I Needed to Save My Family’
Fierro spoke at length about how he considers everyone in the club a family. He said he is straight, but he and his family go to the club to support the community.
“There are five people that I could not help and one of which was family to me, Raymond was part of my family until my daughter was in high school.. I went to his football games. I sat with his mother…They are great people,” Fierro said.
He said that two other family friends are in the hospital and are “making it through.”
“I had no shame with any of this. I support my community whoever that is, I love everybody,” he said. “…People know the Fierros are there for them.”
“…There’s video and all kinds of stuff. I just got into mode, and I needed to save my family and that family at that time was everybody in that room,” he said. “That’s what I was trained to do. I saw him, and I went and got him and then I pulled him down.”
He said he told Aldrich as he was hitting him, “I’m going to kill you.”
“I’m an emotional guy but I try not to be that. I try to be strong for my family. I tried to save people, and it didn’t work for five. There’s five people who aren’t home right now,” he said.
“I went through this with Thanksgiving in Iraq, man,” he added.
“I just did what I had to do. I know I’m not professional. I served my nation for 15 years, and it did a lot of things to me and my family. I was broken physically. I just couldn’t do it anymore.”
He said he is proud of his military service. “Soldiers are genuine. They do this for themselves. And their families and their brothers and sisters.”
He noted: “We went out to see a show and have a good time.”
“I tried. I tried to finish him.” He said his daughter’s knee is broken.
Fierro spoke in Spanish for part of the press conference.
“I don’t know if it was the right thing to do.. I just did it,” he said.
‘The Guy Came in Shooting,’ Fierro Said
Fierro vividly described the dramatic encounter with the shooter.
“The guy came in shooting, man, came in shooting. I don’t know what he was shooting at.”
He said he dove and fell backwards. He looked up and saw the gunman’s “armored plates.” There was “a lull.”
He leapt up and “grabbed him by the back of his cheap a** armor thing, and I pulled him down.”
Another man who was hiding, presumably James, “did the same act.” They were both subduing Aldrich.
“He (Aldrich) went for his pistol,” said Fierro, who added that he “grabbed the pistol from him.”
He said he “started whaling on this dude.”
The other hero was kicking the gunman in the head, while Fierro yelled for people to call 911.
“I’m beating this guy. This guy is trying to wiggle. He’s trying to get his ammo, his guns.”
Fierro told a performer to kick the shooter and “she took her high heel and stuffed it in his face, or his head, whatever she could hit.”
Added Fierro: “This is in Colorado Springs, man. This s*** ain’t right.”
“I was cussing him out, I was telling him I was going to kill him. I’m going to see that guy in court and that guy is going to see who did him.”
A Loved One Described How Fierro Was ‘Covered in Blood’ But ‘Apprehended the Shooter’
A person who was with Fierro wrote a lengthy account on the Atrevia Beer Company’s Facebook page.
“I have struggled with how to address the horrific series of events that has occurred,” the post read.
“My family, friends and I decided to have a fun night out. We went to @clubqcoloradosprings to celebrate another dear friends birthday. Unfortunately, we were all there when the shooter entered. It was absolute havoc. It was terrifying.”
The post continued:
Kassy broke her knee as she was running for cover. Our best friends were both shot multiple times. I bruised the right side of my body and Rich injured both his hands, knees and ankle as he apprehended the shooter. He was covered in blood. Everyone is recovering, thankfully. No one. NO ONE should ever have to witness bloodshed like this. With an incredibly heavy and broken heart we lost Raymond, who had been a part of our lives since our daughter was in high school. Raymond was Kassy’s boyfriend. We are going to miss him and his bright smile so much. We are going through a lot of emotions as a family and as a brewery. The loss of lives and the injured are in our hearts. We are devastated and torn. We love our #lgbtq community and stand with them. This cowardly and despicable act of hate has no room in our lives or business. F*** HATE. It has left us and our community scarred but not broken. Much love to everyone.