Richard Fierro talks during a news conference outside his home about his efforts to subdue the gunman in Saturday's fatal shooting at Club Q, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022, in Colorado Springs, Colo. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
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By Jesse Bedayn and Sam Metz, AP

When army veteran Rich Fierro realized a gunman was spraying bullets inside the club where he had gathered with friends and family, instincts from his military training immediately kicked in.

First he ducked to avoid any potential incoming fire, then he moved to try to disarm the shooter.

“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,” he said Monday outside his home in Colorado Springs, where an American flag hung from the porch.

Fierro is one of two people police are crediting with saving lives by subduing a 22-year-old man armed with multiple firearms, including an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle, who went on a shooting rampage Saturday night at Club Q, a well-known gathering place for the LGBTQ community in Colorado Springs. Five people were killed and at least 17 wounded.

Fierro was there with his daughter Kassy, her boyfriend and several other friends to see a drag show and celebrate a birthday. He said it was one of the group’s most enjoyable nights. That suddenly changed when the shots rang out and Kassy’s boyfriend, Raymond Green Vance, was fatally shot.

Speaking to reporters at his home Monday, Fierro teared up as he recalled Raymond smiling and dancing before the shooting started.

Fierro could smell the cordite from the ammunition, saw the flashes and dove, pushing his friend down before falling backwards.

Looking up from the floor, Fierro saw the shooter’s body armor and the crowd that had fled to the club’s patio. Moving toward the attacker, Fierro grasped the body armor, yanked the shooter down while yelling at another patron, Thomas James, to move the rifle out of reach.

As the shooter was pinned under a barrage of punches from Fierro and kicks to the head from James, he tried to reach for his pistol. Fierro grabbed it and used it as a bludgeon.

“I tried to finish him,” he said.

When a clubgoer ran by in heels, Fierro told her to kick the gunman. She stuffed her high-heeled shoe in the attacker’s face, Fierro said. Del Lusional, a drag queen who performed at Club Q on Saturday night, said on Twitter that the patron who intervened with her heel was a transgender woman.

“I love them,” Fierro said of the city’s LGBTQ community. “I have nothing but love.”

Fierro served three tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan as a field artillery officer and left the Army as a major in 2013, an army spokesperson said.

He noted he had dealt with violence. That’s what he signed up for. “Nobody in that club asked to do this,” he said, but everyone “is going to have to live with it now.”

Fierro and James, about whom little was known as of Monday evening, pinned the shooter down until officers arrived minutes later. Fierro was briefly handcuffed and sat in a police car as law enforcement tried to calm the chaos.

“I have never encountered a person who had engaged in such heroic actions who was so humble about it,” Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez said of Fierro on Monday. “He simply said to me, ‘I was trying to protect my family.’”

The suspect, who was said to be carrying multiple guns and additional ammunition magazines, faces murder and hate crime charges.

Fierro’s wife, Jess, said via Facebook that her husband had bruised his right side and injured his hands, knees and ankle. “He was covered in blood,” she wrote on the page of their brewery, Atrevida Beer Co.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Tuesday that President Joe Biden had spoken with the Fierros. “He offered his condolences to them and also his support and talked through what it’s like to grieve,” Jean-Pierre said, adding that Biden thanked Fierro for his instinct to act and save lives.

Though his actions saved lives, Fierro said the deaths — including his daughter’s boyfriend, Vance — were a tragedy both personal and for the broader community. The self-described “dude from San Diego” who said he was from a family of immigrants rebuffed the idea that he was a hero and asked to keep focus on those whose lives were lost.

“There are five people that I could not help. And one of which was family to me,” he said, as his brother put a consoling hand on his shoulder.

Fierro said he doesn’t remember if the gunman responded as he yelled and struggled to subdue him, but he has thought about their next interaction.

“I’m gonna see that guy in court,” Fierro said. “And that guy’s gonna see who did him.”

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  1. “Fierro was there with his daughter Kassy, her boyfriend and several other friends to see a drag show and celebrate a birthday. He said it was one of the group’s most enjoyable nights.”

    quality family time.

    if things have gone this far then the u.s. is seriously perverted.

    • rant7…. You sir are a dipshit. Regardless of what he and his family were doing, this man is a hero and you are pathetic to degrade the situation. I use to come to this site everyday for close to 10 years, all the way back to when Farago ran it. People like you are the reason I very rarely stop by anymore.

      Good luck with life.

        • I wish Robert was still running the site. The gun reviews are excellent and even the political and news related blogs are good but the user comments have really degraded. There were several commenters that I always enjoyed their comments. “I Has a Question”, “walks on Water” “JWM”, “Geoff PR” and reaching way far back “Dirk Diggler” are just a couple of commentators that I like. Even “Gadsden Flag” who I have minced words with I respect and enjoy his comments.

          The commentators are what make or break this site.

        • Appears the story certainly brought some old hats out of the closet. “Yeah man it was great when.” Well it is not when anymore it is now and soon its tomorrow.

          rant…Speaking of when I once went dancing at a gay bar, had fun and lived to tell you about it. You should lighten up about an unarmed man who had just fought an armed dirtbag and lost someone close to his daughter, etc. Like me the man can go where he wants, no one is going to force you to tag along.

        • Debbie W. It is a pleasure to see you. We agree on this point….and probably on more points than we disagree on. LOL. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Rant7 – why do I get the feeling that if you could shoot up one of these drag shows and kill everyone there that you would?

    • my main takeaway was “Imagine how much faster this could have ended if the vet or the guy who helped had been armed.

      I beleive in freedom. Freedom means as long as no one is harming anyone else or their property, and no chikdren are being abused or molested, consenting adults can do what they damn well like. I want to be left alone. As far as I can tell the only hope of achieving that is by extending the same courtesy to others.

      • “In court filings, the perp self-identifies as non-binary using they/them pronouns.”

        Well, now…

        Someone sounds a little angry about being put on a path where there’s no coming back, and decided to take that anger out on the folks who put them on that road.

        Buckle-up, gang, the folks who talk all about love and acceptance of others not like themselves are taking us all along on journey we have zero interest on going.

        Myself and a whole lot of others are not gonna like that very much, and may not be very polite when informing them of the news… 🙁

        • “where there’s no coming back, and decided to take that anger out on the folks who put them on that road“

          Anyone can change their behavior, they just need to make the decision to do so.

          And it wasn’t the patrons in the club that put the perpetrator on the road he traveled.

          He was only 22, the major influences in his life or his right wing mother and insurrectionist republican grandfather who obviously filled his head with anger and resentment towards people who are just living their life as they choose.

          And I have to tell you, the United States Armed Forces have more heroes just like this retired major, men and women who understand that freedom is for everyone, not just those who share their religion and political persuasion.

          Major Ferro can take his place beside Capitol Police Officer and 101st Airborne Iraq vet Eugene Goodman, these veterans stood up for what is right and we owe them a debt of honor and gratitude for their service.

        • Lol nice try Miner not buying it but good attempt at trying to steer the conversation to something normal but this is likely beyond anyone’s ability to spin.

        • Non-binary (AKA ‘genderqueer’) is an umbrella term for gender identities that are not solely male or female‍ – identities that are outside the gender binary.

          LGBTQ rights activists are upset, basically, because if he identifies as Non-binary its not a hate crime. The ‘internet’ part, well, the internet part is always upset over something so business as usual there but they have their doubts.

          “Blaire White, a right-wing trans YouTuber and political commentator who’s long been critical of leftist movements, commented on the reports saying that: ‘The entire Left just pulled an Alex Jones, falsely blaming a shooting on someone else. I won’t hold my breath on the fines, though.’ “

  2. The dude is a hero- may the Almighty be with you, bless and comfort you! May the Comforter be with those who lost family members as they confront their grief….

    • “definition of a hero”

      oh spare me. if he’d done this in defense of the nation or the constitution he’d be castigated as a terrorist – but he does this in defense of perversion and he’s held forth as an example. the lesson they’re pushing is obvious – “you work for US or you’re against us.”

        • “So are you saying the shooter was justified“

          Monty, you hit the nail on the head.

          It seems he has some sort of anger and resentment against those who live a same-sex lifestyle.

          It’s a common attitude of repressed homosexuals, he deserves our sympathy and understanding with his internal struggle.

        • I think we need to have a “come-to-jesus moment”. We need to have an honest conversation with ourselves, because if we can’t be honest with the subject matter, we will have more violence. The affidavit has been sealed. Why???
          Would it tell us the motivating factors for the shooter?

          If this former Soldier had stated, “I will not comply”, and carried a gun concealed, choosing to violating state laws, and used his firearm to stop a shooter. I don’t believe the Washington Post or any Liberal, Leftist, would call him a hero at all.
          He would not be a hero to them.

          But he would be a hero to me.

          “Club In Colorado Announced All Ages Drag Show Before Tragedy, Escalation Is Getting Terrifying” video 22 min long

  3. Well the guy ain’t gay or transgender. neither is his wife, their daughter or the daughter ‘s boyfriend. It is not a recent phenomenon that straight people will go to such clubs to enjoy the performances for the hoot value. Darcel’s in Portland is a classic example.

    • “Well the guy ain’t gay or transgender. neither is his wife, their daughter or the daughter ‘s boyfriend”

      nope, they’re just out having a good time watching the perverts.

      I’m left wondering if this wasn’t some kind of staged event.

    • I am 61, I worked with a straight woman who would go to a gay club, so men would not bug her for dates. She had a gay friend who she would go with & none of the women there bother them. She said it was some of the best girls night of her life.
      That was in the 1990’s, seemed strange to me at the time, but have heard many stories like that over the years. The bigger the city, the less clannish the groups are, but you would never know it from the Media.
      Anyone who risk their life to save lives is a HERO.

    • Got a better definition of stupid people, stupid places, doing stupid things? Than hanging out in a bar – at midnight – with bunch of insane morons (queers/trannys/assorted degenerates)?

      If that’s your “scene”, then you’re as much a moron as ANYONE there. Including the lardass shooter.

  4. Unlike Aldrich, Fierro, his family and the other people at the club weren’t trying to harm anyone. Aldrich got what he deserved at the scene and will get more after his trial. Fierro is the hero who gave it to him.

  5. As long as there were no children in there I’m ok with whatever they were doing. Taking a child, under the age of consent, into that place is a NOGO. Other than that good to go. Glad to see someone step up and put their life at risk to protect citizens.

    Now we can argue about the age of consent, some States are different and quite young IMO, but every State should be 18 and that goes for buying alcohol, weapons, voting, being drafted, signing contracts ect. Or raise it to 21 for all, do one or the other.

        • Yeah but you don’t want to shoot adults that participate in it so you’re a groomer as per his ideology. I remember when you could vote republican because you hated taxes, gun control, and government overreach now I have to want to shoot perverts aka adults doing weird but not illegal stuff because everyone is now a pedo

  6. Well it took a real man to stop the murderous freak. Unlike The Pulse nightclub where no one tried to bumrush Hasson but cried “help us” while he methodically reloaded. Meanwhile Dims are readying a full court press to ban America’s Rifle. You AIN’T getting mine!

        • but in that sense, by your own policy, you don’t have any friends. you’re just you. and against an enemy that consists of a large network of influence and control and that judges everything in terms of “us”, you’ll lose.

          your biggest enemy is you.

        • So you say. Not everybody wants to wear hugo boss and gas jews.

          I do have friends and family. Just nobody like you in my life. And happy for it.

  7. just figured it out.

    this was a staged event. this is nothing more than “divide and conquer” – divide the gun owners into two warring camps “he did right!” / “what was he doing there?” and defeat both sides.

    notice how the left is NEVER divided. you’re either with them all the way, or you’re gone. that’s why they so often win against an individualist right.

  8. Just remember whatever your personal or religious thoughts about Club Q patrons, Army veteran Rich Fierro is not the bad guy here, there’s a POS sitting in jail who committed cold blooded murders and mayhem. Mr. Fierro exercised bravery and determination saving many lives.

    This event is the perfect addition to the soccialist-democrats November and a made to order event for their anti-2nd Amendment agenda.

  9. Just remember whatever your personal or religious thoughts about Club Q patrons, Army veteran Rich Fierro is not the bad guy here, there’s a POS sitting in jail who committed cold blooded murders and mayhem. Mr. Fierro exercised bravery and determination saving many lives.

    This event is the perfect addition to the soccialistt-democrats November and a made to order event for their anti-2nd Amendment agenda.

  10. Those that honestly believe that these kinds of horrors can be stopped by banning AR15’s, body armor, etc. are Del Lusional.

    • nonsense. banning 15, armor, etc most certainly can stop YOU from defending yourself. they have no intention of stopping themselves from doing anything. 3 million political murders in cambodia, 40 million in the soviet union, 80 million in china – and they can’t wait to do it here.

        • And, how many in Germany kept saying to themselves “It can’t possibly get any worse than this…”

        • 1.6+ depending on whose numbers/revisions get used for civilian murders. Honestly could be more but the evidence quality sucks on the Soviet occupied side so damn hard to tell.

        • JWM best estimate for death camps prior to revisions upward. Assuming we are doing democide and not war casualties for apples to apples comparisons of various types of leftist authoritative governments.

    • “Those that honestly believe that these kinds of horrors can be stopped by banning AR15’s, body armor, etc. are Del Lusional.”

    • Caught that amusingly unfortunate name choice as well. We currently still have our bans of armor, assault weapons, and carry beyond some streets and church. Crime is still escalating in bot incidence as well as violent intensity. The laws they do nothing.

  11. Just remember whatever your personal or religious thoughts about Club Q patrons, Army veteran Rich Fierro is not the bad guy here, there’s a POS sitting in jail who committed cold blooded murders and mayhem. Mr. Fierro exercised bravery and determination saving many lives.

    This event is the perfect addition to the democrats November and a made to order event for their anti-2nd Amendment agenda. Having a January 6th supporting Republican politician family connection to the murder is just the cherry on top.

      • So the killer and family were in on the “staged event”?
        Either way this “propaganda” event is easy to propagate and contributes to the reason we can’t have nice things.

        • Except it’s not fake. Why is it so hard for you to believe someone could shoot up a public place? Do you think all mass shootings are fake? What about gang violence? But your math should we all stop packing heat because all violent crime is a liberal conspiracy? Democrats aren’t smart enough to run a college without going bankrupt but somehow they can orchestrate very bad thing ever? You give them a lot of credit you psycho

    • No- he is a bad guy and all the people there are criminals. He was abusing his own daughter taking her there. And if it wasn’t a crime, it should be.

  12. Biden thanked Fierro.
    – why am I laughing?
    Biden probably got the name wrong, pooped his diaper, walked in circles shaking hands with ghost, congratulated President Harris, and then tried to get close enough to fierro’s daughter to ‘cop a feel’.
    Long Live King Brandon.

  13. Rich Fierro and that other (unnamed?) person are hero’s, no doubt about it.

    When ever such hero’s in such events as this rise to the challenge there is always a positive effect even if those hero’s are not successful. That positive effect can take many different forms, everything from stopping the threat to introducing a delay/distraction giving precious seconds for others to escape harm.

    These unarmed hero defenders defied the odds. I’m not going to say it was luck, it was that American soldier combat instinct born of training that gave Fierro the slight edge he needed in this situation to launch a counter attack and stop the threat. Most people don’t have that ‘edge’ to draw upon, yet even though some still manage to prevail the likely hood of less or no harm is greater if you have the means to definitively stop the threat … there is an over 80% likely hood of harm to a person not armed with a firearm resisting by other means or complying or even running away from the threat. A defender with a firearm resisting/defending by use of firearm has a 94% likely hood of not being harmed, and if using the firearm very early in the encounter has a 6% or less likely hood of not being harmed. A successful defender using a firearm in such cases as this event has an over 90% chance of saving their selves and others, it may not be everyone but its going to be more than are saved waiting for police to arrive.

    Once again, you are your own first responder and there may come a time where you may need to become the first responder for others as well.

  14. One of their own. shooter was “non-Binary” with “they/them” pronouns.

    I’m calling it. Mental illness.

    The WOKE are just sick.

    • Forensic psychiatrists James L. Knoll IV, MD, and George D. Annas, MD, MPH, of SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse New York, both leading authorities on the mental health aspects of mass/school shooters, summed it up for the mental health community various studies on various aspects in terms of mass/school shooters…. Although mass shooters may not meet DSM-5 criteria for a recognized disorder, “they do have an ill-defined trouble of the mind for which the mental health field has no immediate, quick-acting ‘treatment,’”

    • Anyone that shoots up any place unprovoked and outside a warzone has mental illness… in that sense I agree with you.

  15. Disappointing that I had to skim through around 60 posts until .40 cal Booger got to the point.
    How did yet another attack get down to the point that two folks had to jump the perpetrator bare handed? Anybody ever heard of “deep carry in the non permissive environment” ?

    Moderated comments? LOL I’m not here to discuss the merits of drag shows & “alternative lifestyles”. How about, guns, gun laws & self defense? P.S. My mom really liked Liberace!

  16. Anyone who celebrates taking their daughter to a drag show should be arrested. I am honestly disgusted with the boomers on this website. You have watched too much TV. You should pray and fast for forgiveness.


  18. The man is a hero, and a certifiable badass. When you take the military oath of office, you commit to protecting and defending all American citizens from harm, regardless of whether or not you agree with their politics or lifestyle. He stepped up and did what needed to be done. And kudos to the drag queen who stomped the shit out of that douche bag with high heels. In less tragic circumstances, it would have been comical to see that and hear their comments.

  19. The same ones who support groomers openly marching in LGBTQxyz parades, are also the same ones who will use this massacre to violate, the civil rights of all law abiding citizens.

  20. So lets get this clear here. Whatt you are saying is that a couple of undoubtedly brave onlookers one of whom had extensive experience at the pointy end of combat took down a perpetrator whils the was shooting up a night club. NO GUNS INVOLVED or NESSESSARY and NO RISK of COLLATERAL damage.

    Only saying! Like that guys who took down a bloody terrorist in the UK in the London Bridge attack. THough inthat case the bugger did get shot by the Police


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