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Colorado Springs shooting: Army vet talks about disarming Q Club gunman, says ‘I tried to finish him off’

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A US Army veteran who served three tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan credits his military training with helping to disarm the gunman who opened fire inside a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, telling reporters he tried to of using the attacker’s own pistol to “finish him off”. .”

Rich Fierro and Thomas James are the two people cheered by police for saving lives at Club Q on Saturday night when Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, is accused of carrying out a mass shooting that left five dead. and at least 25 wounded. Aldrich, who brought multiple firearms onto the property, including an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle, according to The Associated Press, now faces murder and hate crime charges.

“It’s the reflex. Go! Go to the fire. Stop the action. Stop the activity. Don’t let anyone get hurt. I tried to bring everyone back,” Fierro told reporters who had gathered outside his home on Monday. House.

Fierro was there with her daughter Kassy, ​​her boyfriend, and several other friends to watch a drag show and celebrate a birthday. He said it was one of the most enjoyable nights for the group. That suddenly changed when shots rang out and Kassy’s boyfriend, Raymond Green Vance, was fatally shot.

VICTIMS OF SHOOTING AT COLORADO NIGHTCLUB IDENTIFIED, POLICE CALL THE HEROES WHO MADE THE SUSPECT

Richard Fierro speaks during a news conference outside his home about his efforts to subdue the gunman in Saturday’s fatal shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
(AP/Jack Dempsey)

He first crouched to avoid any possible incoming fire, then moved to try to disarm the shooter.

Fierro could smell the cordite from the ammunition, saw the flashes and dove, pushing one of his friends before falling backwards.

Looking up from the ground, Fierro saw the shooter’s bulletproof vest and the crowd that had fled into the club’s courtyard. Moving toward the attacker, Fierro grabbed the bulletproof vest, yanked the shooter down as he yelled at another patron, James, to move the rifle out of his reach.

As the shooter was caught under a barrage of punches from Fierro and kicks to the head from James, he reached for his pistol. Fierro grabbed it and used it as a club.

“I tried to finish him off,” he said.

When a performer who was there for the drag show ran by, Fierro told them to kick the gunman. The artist shoved a high-heeled shoe into the attacker’s face, Fierro said.

“I love them,” Fierro said of the city’s LGBTQ community. “I have nothing but love.”

“I really hope people wear this and shake someone’s hand, give someone a hug, give someone a kiss,” she added. “These are good people, man, these were all children.”

CHARGES FILED AGAINST COLORADO SPRINGS MASS SHOOTING SUSPECT ANDERSON LEE ALDRICH

A police officer gets out of his car near the crime scene at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Sunday, November 20, 2022, where a shooting occurred Saturday night.

A police officer gets out of his car near the crime scene at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Sunday, November 20, 2022, where a shooting occurred Saturday night.
(AP Photo/Geneva Heffernan)

Fierro completed three tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, and said he has dealt with violence. “No one at that club asked to do this,” he said, but everyone “is going to have to live with it now.”

Fierro and James restrained the shooter until officers arrived minutes later. Fierro was briefly handcuffed and sat in a police car as law enforcement tried to calm the chaos.

Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez said later Monday that Fierro acted bravely.

“I have never come across a person who has engaged in such heroic actions who was so humble about it,” Vasquez said. “He just told me, ‘I was trying to protect my family.'”

Fierro’s wife, Jess, said via Facebook that her husband had injured his right side, hurting his hands, knees and ankle. “He was covered in blood,” she wrote on the page for her brewery, Atrevida Beer Co.

Richard Fierro gestures as he talks to reporters outside his home about the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Richard Fierro gestures as he talks to reporters outside his home about the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
(AP)

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Fierro said he doesn’t remember if the gunman responded as he yelled and struggled to subdue him, but he has thought about their next interaction.

“I’m going to see that guy in court,” Fierro said. “And that guy is going to see who killed him.”

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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