Richard Fierro is a hero. On Saturday night, this war veteran was with his wife and daughter at the Club Q gay nightclub in Colorado Springswhen a gunman burst in and opened fire, killing 5 people and injuring 25 others. But Richard’s quick reaction prevented a major tragedy.
When he heard the first shots, Richard Fierro, 45, crouched to avoid being hit, then moved quickly to try to disarm the shooter, who was later identified as Anderson-Lee Aldrich22 years old.
LOOK: Colorado gay nightclub shooter arrested by ‘heroic’ attendees after killing 5 people
“I don’t know exactly what I did, I just went into ‘combat mode’”, said iron to The New York Times. “I just know that I had to kill the guy before he killed us.”
“I took the gun out of his hand and started hitting him over the head, over and over again”explained the war veteran to the newspaper.
“It’s the reflection. Let’s go! Go to the fire. Stop action. Stop the activity. Don’t let anyone get hurt,” he explained Monday to reporters in a statement outside his home in Colorado Springs.
LOOK: The perpetrator of the deadly shooting at a US gay nightclub was identified as 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich
Richard Fierro served in the United States Army until 2013. He was in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Fierro is one of two people police credit with saving lives by subduing the shooter, who entered the Club Q with multiple firearms, including a AR-15 style semi-automatic rifleaccording to the AP agency.
The war veteran told that he was in the Club Q with his wife, their daughter Kassy, her boyfriend, and several friends to see a drag show and celebrate a birthday.
Kassy’s boyfriend Raymond Green Vancewas fatally shot as soon as the attack began.
iron she cried Monday remembering Raymond. She said that she was smiling and dancing before the shooting began.
The ex-military man claimed that he saw the gunman’s bulletproof vest and grabbed it, throwing it to the ground while yelling at Thomas James to move the rifle out of the shooter’s reach.
When Anderson-Lee Aldrich was neutralized with a barrage of punches from Fierro and kicks to the head from James, he reached for his pistol. Fierro grabbed it first and used it as a club.
“I tried to finish him off,” Fierro said.
iron he also recounted that when a person who participated in the drag show ran by in heels, he told him to kick the gunman. She shoved her high-heeled shoe into the attacker’s face.
“I love them,” Fierro said of the city’s LGBTQ community. “I have nothing but love.”
Fierro served three terms in Iraq and one in Afghanistan as a field artillery officer and left the Army as a major in 2013, an army spokesman said, the AP news agency reported.
“I have never come across a person who has engaged in such heroic actions and who was so humble about it,” Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez said of Fierro. “He just told me, ‘I was trying to protect my family.’”
The suspect, who was said to be carrying multiple weapons and additional ammunition magazines, faces murder and hate crime charges.
Fierro’s wife, Jess, said via Facebook that her husband had injured his right side, hands, knees, and ankle. “He was covered in blood,” she wrote.
The White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, said on Tuesday that the president Joe Biden I had talked to the iron. “He offered his condolences and also his support.” She added that Biden thanked Fierro for his instinct to act and save lives.