COLORADO SPRINGS — Richard M. Fierro was at a Table in Club Q On Saturday, he watched a drag show with his daughter, wife, and friends. the Unsustainable flashes of gunfire were heard all across the The nightclub and instincts that he had developed during four combat deployments in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan instantly came back into play. He said to himself: Fight back! Protect your people.
Interview at his home on Monday with his wife and his daughter, while they were still recovering from injuries. Mr. Fierro, 45 years old, spent 15 years as an attorney. Army According to military records, he was an officer who left in 2013 as a major. the chaos at the Club, tackling the Gunman beating the bloody victim with the gunman’s own gun.
“I don’t know exactly what I did, I just went into combat mode,” Mr. Fierro nodded, shaking his head, as he stood in front of his driveway, a limp American flag in hand. the Frosty air “I just know I have to kill this guy before he kills us.”
The Anderson Lee Aldrich is currently being held by authorities on charges of five deaths and 18 injuries. the The club lasted for only a few seconds. The Officials said that the death toll could have reached much higher if officials had consulted patrons. the Bar had not stopped the gunman.
“He saved a lot of lives,” Mayor John Suthers spoke of Mr. Fierro. The Mayor said that he spoke to Mr. Fierro, and was impressed by his humility. “I have never encountered a person who engaged in such heroic actions and was so humble about it.”
It was supposed to be a chill family night out — the combat veteran and his wife, Jess, joined their daughter, Kassandra, her longtime boyfriend Raymond Green Vance, and two family friends to watch one of his daughter’s friends perform a drag act.
It was Mr. Fierro’s first time at a drag show, and he was digging it. He was a 15-year veteran of drag shows. the Army, and now relished his role as a civilian and a father, watching one of his daughter’s old high-school friends perform.
“These kids want to live that way, want to have a good time, have at it,” He said the same thing as he described the night. “I’m happy about it because that is what I fought for, so they can do whatever they hell they want.”
Fierro wanted to improve his ability to go out. In Iraq and Afghanistan he’d been shot at, seen roadside bombs shred trucks in his platoon, and lost friends. He was twice honoured the Bronze Star.
The Wars were present and past. There were many things that he would never forget. He was anxious for many hours after returning home. He couldn’t help to be vigilant. He was always vigilant in restaurants. the Faceting the wall the door. He tried his best to relax but a part of him was always up for an attack.
He was often distrustful and quick to get angry. His wife and his daughter were suffering. He was trying to get it under control. He was prescribed medication and saw a psychologist. He got rid all his problems. the Incorporating guns the house. To distance himself from his uniform days, he grew his hair long and got a long, white beard.
He and his wife owned a successful local brewery called Atrevida Beer Co. He was a loving father to his daughter and her boyfriend for many years. He accepted the fact that war would always remain with him.
That night was however Club QHe wasn’t thinking about war. The women were dancing. He was laughing with his friends. He laughed with his friends. the shooting started.
It was a series of flashes in a staccato. the Front door the It is the familiar sound of small arms fire. It was also something that Mr. Fierro understood too. He hit the jackpot without even thinking. the He pulled his friend to the ground, and he fell with him. Bullets were sprayed across the bar, and smashing glasses and bottles. People shouted. People screamed. the One he carried in Iraq. The The shooter was moving through the You can turn your back towards the door to the patio, where many people have fled.
The The long-suffering instincts of a platoon leader surged to life. He raced across the Room, grabbed the A gunman using a handle the Back of his body armor, pulled he to the He jumped up on top of him and fell to the floor.
“Was he shooting at the time? Was he about to shoot? I don’t know,” Mr. Fierro said. “I just knew I had to take him down.
The two crashed to the floor. The gunman’s military-style rifle clattered just out of reach. Mr. Fierro started to go for it, but then saw the gunman come up with a pistol in his other hand.
“I grabbed the gun out of his hand and just started hitting him in the head, over and over,” Mr. Fierro said.
He held the position the Slam the door and let your guard down the Fierro lowered his head and began barking orders. He used a string of expletives to shout for another patron at the club. the Tell the story about your rifle the Patron should kick off the session the gunman in the face. He said that he had ordered a drag dancer to pass by his house, and she did. the She is a great attacker. The Fierro stated that he continued to pummeling throughout the entire time the Shooter with the Scream obscenities while holding a pistol.
How did he be able to forget all his fears and just act? He said that he does not know. He said that he didn’t know.
“In combat, most of the time nothing happens, but it’s that mad minute, that mad minute, and you are tested in that minute. It becomes habit,” He said. “I don’t know how I got the weapon away from that guy, no idea. I’m just a dude, I’m a fat old vet, but I knew I had to do something.”
A few minutes later, the police arrived. the According to Mr. Fierro, the gunman was not struggling anymore. Fierro claimed that he was afraid of him being killed.
He was covered in blood. He got up, frantically turning his back in an effort to get out. the He looked for his family in the darkness. He noticed his friends. the floor. One was shot multiple times. the Chest and arm. Another had been shot in the leg.
Fiero claimed that he began shouting like he was back in battle as more police arrived. Casualties. Casualties. I need a medical professional right now. He shouted at me. the Police that the Scene was crystal clear the Shooter was unconscious, but the people in need of his help needed it. He claimed that he received tourniquets from an officer in the police force and applied them to his friends who were bleeding. He stated that he tried his best to communicate calmly with them, saying they would be fine.
He was able to see his wife, and his daughter. the Edge of the room and was just about to give chase to them when he was tackled.
Officers rush into the A chaotic scene had seen a man in blood and a gun, but they didn’t know if he was dangerous. They took him into custody and locked him up. the He was thrown back in a police car for more than an hour. He claimed that he screamed while pleading for his family’s release.
He was finally freed. He was freed. the His wife and his daughter were also admitted to the hospital, with only minor injuries. His friends were also there and they are still there in much worse condition. All of them were alive. But his daughter’s boyfriend was nowhere to be found. In the They had lost him in chaos. They drove back to the They searched the streets for him and hoped to find him walking home. There was nothing.
The His mother called the family on Sunday evening. He had already died. the shooting.
He said that he had heard Mr. Fierro’s story and that he had held his daughter and wept.
Partly he wept because he knew what was ahead. The Families of the dead, the People who were killed had previously been in war just like he. They would struggle as he and his combat buddies did. They would feel numb from their misplaced vigilance and they would be furious, never able to get up. the Be torn by the fearful itch. the Wanting to forget? the Always remember.
“My little girl, she screamed and I was crying with her,” He said. “Driving home from the hospital I told them, ‘Look, I’ve gone through this before, and down range, when this happens, you just get out on the next patrol. You need to get it out of your mind.’ That is how you cured it. You cured it by doing more. Eventually you get home safe. But here I worry there is no next patrol. It is harder to cure. You are already home.”