A former U.S. Army officer has been credited with ending Saturday night's mass shooting at the LGBT club in Colorado Springs.
Richard M. Fierro survived three deployments to Iraq and one in Afghanistan only to be confronted by a rifle-wielding nutjob on an evening out in Colorado with his wife Jess, their daughter and friends. With help from another patron, Thomas James, Fierro limited the casualty count to five dead and 15 wounded. Among the dead: his daughter's long-time boyfriend, Raymond Vance.
“I don’t know exactly what I did, I just went into combat mode,” Fierro, who left the Army at the rank of major in 2012, told The New York Times. “I just know I have to kill this guy before he kills us.”
The two-time Bronze Star recipient told the Times he'd been shot at on his deployments and seen roadside bombs devastate his platoon's vehicles. He says the psychological and physical toll, which prompted him to leave the Army, still burdens him.
Police identified the shooter as 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich, who'd already had a confrontation with the police: In June 2021, cops arrested him after his mother said he threatened to detonate a bomb and hurt her with various weapons.
BREAKING: #BNNUS Reports— Gurbaksh Singh Chahal (@gchahal) November 22, 2022
Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, was arrested in the #ClubQ shooting in #ColoradoSprings on Saturday.
Footage from a bomb threat in 2021 has emerged.
Aldrich appeared to be live-streaming the bomb threat while wearing body armor at his mother's house. pic.twitter.com/V7KUt10j4a
Saturday's attack took place at Club Q, one of few LGBTQ clubs in Colorado Springs -- Colorado's second-largest city and a hub of Christian conservatism that's been called "The Evangelical Vatican."
The 45-year-old Fierro was there to watch his first drag show with his daughter, her boyfriend and several other friends. He joined because one of his daughter's friends was performing. "I'm straight. My kids are straight, but we go there...Why? Because it's about community," Fierro told reporters.
Fierro says that, when the shots erupted, he first instinctively took cover. Then his combat instincts propelled him into action.
“It’s the reflex. Go! Go to the fire. Stop the action. Stop the activity. Don’t let no one get hurt. I tried to bring everybody back,” Fiero said.
Fiero says he and James approached Aldrich, and Fierro grabbed Aldrich by a handle on the back of the body armor he was wearing, while James kicked him. After being taken to the floor, Aldrich -- whom Fierro estimates to be some 300 pounds -- reached for a handgun.
"I did what I had to do."— CNN (@CNN) November 22, 2022
Richard M. Fierro, one of the men who tackled the gunman in the Colorado Springs Club Q shooting, said it wasn’t about being the hero — it was all about protecting his family. https://t.co/SXoUGH4q4Y pic.twitter.com/fxOFXwEKhW
“I grabbed the gun out of his hand and just started hitting him in the head, over and over,” said Fiero. All the while, Fierro and Aldrich exchanged screamed streams of profanities. After the shooter was subdued and beaten bloody, Fiero says he worried that he'd killed him.
Fierro told James to kick Aldrich's AR-15 rifle out of reach. Next, amid all the carnage, came a Tarentino-esque drag-show comical twist:
"When a performer who was there for the drag show ran by, Fierro told them to kick the gunman. The performer stuffed a high-heeled shoe in the attacker’s face and also tried to subdue him, Fierro said." -- AP
According to a Facebook post by Fierro's wife, he emerged with a bruised right side, injuries to his hands, knees and ankle and "was covered in blood."
As authorities sorted out what happened inside the club, cops initially cuffed him and sat him in a police car for over an hour as he screamed and asked to be released so he could check on his family.
For Zero Hedge readers seeking self-defense lessons from this tale, we're obliged to point out that you shouldn't use a firearm as a striking tool: Doing so carries a substantial risk of an unintended discharge that could injure or kill bystanders -- or yourself.
Fierro and his wife own a Colorado Springs brewery: The Atrevida Beer Company. It's motto is "Diversity is On Tap."
On Monday, Substack baseball writer Molly Knight and others were encouraging people to pay tribute to Fierro by buying merchandise and gift cards from the brewery's online store.
Richard M. Fierro, the hero who tackled the Colorado Springs gunman, owns a local Brewery called Attrevido Beer Co. with his family. Let’s crash their website by buying out all their gift certificates and other merch in support: https://t.co/9clIZQfNGi— Molly Knight (@molly_knight) November 21, 2022