Heroic Army Vet Describes Risking Life To Subdue Shooter At LGBTQ Club

By Jason Hall

November 22, 2022

Mass shooting leaves 5 dead and at least 25 injured in Colorado Springs
Photo: Getty Images

A decorated Army veteran credited for tackling the shooter at a Colorado Springs LGBTQ club told reporters that he wanted to protect the close knit community when he sprang into action.

Richard Fierro, 45, was celebrating a birthday at Club Q with his wife, their daughter and her friends when the shooting, which resulted in five deaths and dozens of injuries, took place.

Fierro was one of two individuals credited for subduing the shooter -- who was wearing a flak vest and using an AR-15 style rifle at the time -- and preventing further incident.

“I just know I got into mode, and I needed to save my family — and my family was at that time everybody in that room,” Fierro said in a news conference outside his home on Monday (November 21) via NBC News.

“That's what I was trained to do. I saw him and I went and got him...  I tried to save people and it didn’t work out for five. There’s five people who aren’t home right now."

“I didn’t ask for this,” Fierro added, noting that he was at the club to watch his daughter’s junior prom date perform. “I’m not a hero, I’m just some dude,” he said.

Fierro served in the military for 15 years, which included tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, before retiring from active-duty as a major.

Authorities identified Fierro and Thomas James as the two patrons who subdued the gunman on Monday.

“I have never encountered a person who had engaged in such heroic actions who was so humble about it,” Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said of Fierro while addressing reporters via NBC News. “He simply said to me, ‘I was trying to protect my family.’”

Jessica Fierro credited her husband for preventing greater tragedy from taking place during an interview at her home on Monday.

“My husband took the gunman down,” she said via NBC News. “My husband knocked the guns out of his hands and took the pistol and literally started hitting the guy with it.”

“We were having a great time, we were all on the dance floor and from one minute to the next you just heard gunshots and everyone was separated and just started running,” she added. “It was absolute chaos.”

Jessica Fierro said her husband yelled for someone to call the police as he attempted to subdue the shooter.

Another man, who had fallen to the ground, got up and began kicking the gunman at the time.

Richard injured his hands, knees and ankles while attempting to stop the shooter, according to Jessica.

Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, was arrested on suspicion of five counts of first degree murder and five counts of bias motivated or hate crimes.

Police said Aldrich entered the club with a long rifle and immediately opened fire.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis, who became the first openly gay man elected as a United States governor in 2018, also credited the "brave individuals" for their actions during the "horrific, sickening and devastating" incident at the club.

"We are eternally grateful for the brave individuals who blocked the gunman likely saving lives in the process and for the first responders who responded swiftly to this horrific shooting," Polis said in a statement obtained by NBC News Sunday morning. "Colorado stands with our LGTBQ community and everyone impacted by this tragedy as we mourn together.”

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