Army vet explains how he stopped Colorado Springs shooter with help of trans woman

Hero Richard Fierro talks about what he did inside Club Q to save many from a mass shooting who had entered the club.

A heroic trans woman stomped on the gunman responsible for the Colorado Springs shooting with her high heels, after selfless dad Richard Fierro managed to take him down and disarm him.

On Saturday (November 19) five people were killed and at least 25 were left injured. Daniel Aston and Derrick RumpKelly Loving were named as victims shortly after the shooting, with Ashley Paugh and Raymond Green Vance, named in the following days.

The shooter has been named by police as 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich.

But, if it wasn’t for the selfless act of individuals inside Club Q, more lives could have been lost.

“I don’t know exactly what I did. I just went into combat mode,” said former veteran Richard Fierro, who managed to disarm the gunman.

“I just know I have to kill this guy before he kills us.”

Fierro was watching a drag show with his wife, daughter and friends at Club Q on Saturday, when shots were fired in the nightclub.

His daughter’s boyfriend was Raymond Green Vance, who died protecting her from the gunman.

‘I had to take him down’

In an interview with the New York Times, the 45-year-old who left the army in 2013 as a major, recalled battling through the chaos to tackle the gunman and beat him bloody with his own weapon.

Fierro said he hit the floor pulling down his friend when the shooting started.

He then spotted the gunman move toward a door leading to a patio where dozens of customers had fled.

He courageously raced across the room and grabbed the gunman by a handle on the back of his body armour, which enabled him to pull him to the floor and jump on top of him.

The 45-year-old didn’t know if he was about to shoot but said: “I just knew I had to take him down”.

He recalled the gunman weighed more than 300 lbs. While he was on the floor with his military-style rifle just out of reach, Fierro saw he also had a pistol.

“I grabbed the gun out of his hand and just started hitting him in the head, over and over,” Richard Fierro said.

He yelled for others to help him: One man grabbed the rifle and moved it away to safety, while a trans woman stomped on the gunman with her high heels.

Some reports have described the trans woman as a drag queen. However, a victim’s account of the incident on Twitter has clarified the mistake. 

“The one who saved my life and stomped the shooter’s face in was not a drag queen, she is a trans woman.

“Let’s not call trans women drag queens during this time of grieving over a transphobic attack.”

Having pummelled the shooter’s head, Richard Fierro worried he had killed him by the time police arrived. 

Fierro recalled being covered in blood when police arrived, after which he was held in a police car for more than an hour while he pleaded to get out to check on his family.

In the army, Fierro was awarded the Bronze Star twice.

The Bronze Star is a medal awarded to those in the United States Armed Forces for heroism in the field, or to those who are meritorious in their work.

Fierro’s experiences of combat still haunt him. He said the psychological and physical toll of of the deployments caused him to leave. 

He never expected to tackle war in at home. “I was done with war,” he said.

Fierro and his wife, Jess, own a Colorado Brewery named Atrevida Beer Co.

Alongside beverages their company also offers merchandise, including a top with the writing “Diversity – It’s on Tap” printed on it. 

Fierro’s recount of what happened closely matches accounts given by police, city officials and the club’s owners, who have reviewed security footage from the attack. 

One of the club’s owners, Nic Grzecka, was shown a photo of Fierro on Monday (21 November). He identified Fierro as the man who took down the gunman. 

“I don’t even know his name … I would really like to meet him,” Grzecka said.

Lee Aldrich is being held on charges of killing five people an injuring others. 

PinkNews has reached out to Fierro for further comment.