An incredible story of Army veteran Richard M. Fierro, who saved lives at Club Q
The hero of Colorado Springs is called Richard M. Fierro and he is 45 years old. Saturday’s celebration ended in tragedy and could have been much worse were it not for Fierro, who subdued the gunman from the Q club in the Colorado state town. Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, killed five and injured 25 in a hate-guided attack, according to court documents.
It was a special day. Fierro, a 15-year veteran of the United States Army, went to the famous LGBTQ venue with his family to celebrate a friend’s birthday and enjoy a drag show that included a performance by the best friend of her daughter, 22 years old.
Fierro helped subdue the gunman who killed at least five people, one of whom was Fierro’s daughter’s boyfriend, Richard Green Vance, and told CNN at the time that he did not care about his own safety.
‘I worried about everyone around me and I especially worried about my family,’ Fierro said.
After police arrived at Club Q, Fierro said he immediately began trying to save a friend’s life. He said he was trying to get one of his friends, who was shot in the chest, leg and arms, ‘to stay with him.’
“I moved his head so his arm couldn’t be seen because he was shot,” Fierro said through tears. ‘And Chip was there, her husband was reaching for her, so I put my hand on her hand so they could be together. I didn’t know if they would make it.’
Once the show was over, they left the table they were at and headed to the dance floor. In the middle of the dance, there were some of those present heard a noise like a shot, but they thought that this was part of the show. Then came the chaos. Fierro saw a sudden flash and immediately knew there was danger. It was the prevention of instinct developed in the four campaigns that he participated in during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Three of his companions were shot. Two good friends were injured, his daughter broke her knee and his boyfriend, Raymond Green Vance, is one of the dead. Fierro, who left the military in 2013 with decorations (including two bronze medals), was quick to react. He had to fight.
In the midst of the chaos, he lunged at the attacker, knocking him down, hitting him with his own weapon, and pinning him by standing on top of him. That’s how the police found them.
‘I don’t know exactly what I did, I just went into combat mode,’ he told The New York Times. “I just knew that I had to kill that guy before he killed us,” he maintained. “I had my whole family from Colorado Springs there and I wasn’t going to let it take her down,” he insisted at a press conference Monday night.
Aldrich recovers from his injuries, in custody at a hospital. The prosecution, which has requested the secrecy of the proceedings to avoid interference in the investigation, has already filed charges for five crimes of murder and as many for hate crimes. Once he is brought before the court, everything indicates that the list of charges will be more extensive, remarked the municipal spokesman, Max D’Onofrio.
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