- Army veteran Richard M. Fierro confronted the gunman who killed 5 people at Club Q in Colorado Springs.
- Fierro said club patrons — and a dancer — helped him disarm the gunman.
- According to Fierro, a performer at the club stepped on the gunman with her high heels.
A performer helped a U.S. military veteran disarm and end the threat of a man who killed five people at an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs over the weekend, hitting the gunman with her high heels after confronting the rampage during the shooting.
In an interview with The New York Times published Monday, Army veteran Richard M. Fierro recounted how his military training and combat experience began last Saturday when a gunman opened fire as he and his wife and daughter were enjoying a night out at Club Q. .
“I don’t know exactly what I did, I just went into battle mode,” Fierro told the paper. “I just know I have to kill this guy before he kills us.”
Fierro’s first reaction, he said, was to get off. There he saw the shooter heading toward a door to a patio where many clubbers had gone after shootings.
“Was he shooting at the time? Was he about to shoot? I don’t know,” Fierro said. “I just knew I had to take him down.”
Fierro pulled the gunman to the ground by grabbing his armor, he said. Once he was on the floor, he noticed that the shooter had not only a rifle, but a handgun.
“I grabbed the gun out of his hand and just started hitting him in the head, over and over,” Fierro said.
That’s when he called for help to hold down the shooter, who Fierro guessed was at least 300 pounds. Clubgoers responded, with one man locking the gunman’s rifle.
At a press conference later, Fierro said, “One of the performers walked by—or she was running—and I said to her, ‘Kick this guy. Kick this guy.’
“And she took her high heel and put it in his face or head or whatever she could hit.”
In addition to the five dead – two bartenders who worked at the club, a transgender woman and a man and a woman there to see the show – the attack at Club Q left 25 others injured.
A 22-year-old suspect in the attack is in the hospital.
The mass shooting comes just before Transgender Day of Remembrance, which honors those killed for their identity, and comes as far-right activists single out drag performances in a campaign that experts warned over the summer could fuel violence. According to Sarah Kate Ellis, head of GLAAD, an LGBTQ+ advocacy group, more than 100 transportation events have been the target of violent threats this year.
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Nov. 21: This story has been updated to reflect that, contrary to earlier media reports, the district attorney in the case said no charges have yet been filed against the suspect. Earlier reports said charges had been filed.
November 23: This story was updated with additional details of Fierro’s account.