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Drag show spectator tackled Colorado gay nightclub shooter using army training and stilettos

A former US Army officer has told how he managed to stop the Colorado gay nightclub shooter with the help of a fellow patron who hit the attacker with stilettos.


Richard Fierro - THE HERO - BELOW

Richard Fierro was at Club Q south of Denver with his wife, daughter and friends on Saturday watching a drag show when the gunman opened fire.


Mr Fierro’s instincts from four combat deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan and 15 years as an officer instantly kicked in.


“I don’t know exactly what I did, I just went into combat mode,” Mr Fierro told the New York Times. “I just know I have to kill this guy before he kills us.”


After the first shots were fired, Mr Fierro says he raced across the room, grabbed the attacker by his body armour and knocked the military-style rifle out of his hand. Mr Fierro, 45, then saw the gunman reach for 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.


As he held the man down and slammed the pistol down on his skull, Mr Fierro, a former platoon leader who left the military in 2013, yelled for another patron to start kicking the gunman in the face. He remembered in the chaos he ordered a trans woman to pummel him with her high-heeled shoes.

Once he had been subdued, Mr Fierro, who now owns a local brewery, looked around for his friends and family to find that one had been shot several times in the chest and arm. Another had been shot in the leg.


He said he took tourniquets from a police officer once they arrived and put them on his bleeding friends.


“He saved a lot of lives,” John Suthers, the Colorado Springs mayor, said of Mr Fierro in a press conference on Monday. The mayor said he had spoken to Mr Fierro and was struck by his humility. “I have never encountered a person who engaged in such heroic actions and was so humble about it.”


The attack at Club Q has shaken the LGBTQ community in this mostly conservative city of about 480,000, located 70 miles south of Denver.


Hundreds of people, many holding candles and wiping away tears, gathered in a Colorado Springs park to honour those killed.

SusPect in hospital

Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, the suspect, remained in hospital after Saturday night’s attack in which five people were killed and another 17 suffered gunshot wounds.

Authorities have yet to reveal a motive for the attack, but the charges against Mr Aldrich include hate crime, which would require proving that the gunman was motivated by bias, such as against the victims’ actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. The charges against Mr Aldrich are preliminary, and prosecutors have not filed formal charges in court yet.


The assault has raised questions about why authorities did not seek to take Mr Aldrich’s guns away from him in 2021, when he was arrested after his mother reported he threatened her with a homemade bomb and other weapons.


Though authorities at the time said no explosives were found, gun-control advocates have asked why police did not use Colorado’s “red flag” laws to seize the weapons his mother says he had. There is no public record prosecutors ever moved forward with felony kidnapping and menacing charges against Mr Aldrich.


It was the sixth mass killing in America this month, and it came in a year when the nation was shaken by the deaths of 21 in a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. It also rekindled memories of the 2016 massacre at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, that killed 49 people.


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John Bellamy COMMENTS We have a lot to be thankful for here in the UK. We may have our problems but when compared to the USA, we have nothing to worry about. Trump has let the bigots, the white supremists, the bad boys and anyone with a gripe against womens reproductive rights, women's power, the LGBT community, African Americans and anyone of colour - and anyone that does not sit nice and neatly into their bigoted ( supposedly ) Christian value system, to attack, to murder, to cause and create mayhem, and this does not come from a democratic background, but one of being the bully - and mass murdering anyone and everyone you do not personally agree with their lifestyle compared to the lies and manipulation in the guide book - THE BIBLE - and how it has been MASSIVELY misused to deny human rights to multi millions over centuries, and it still goes on. Take the American Constitution and how it has been misused and twisted to say what people want it to say, exactly the same as the Bible and the truth has been lost in bigotry and fear.

Ignorance and bigotry are rife in the USA and I am sure we have it here as well, but women's rights are protected - we may have race problems in the UK but trivial compared to the USA and gay bars are generally not attacked - gay hotels are safe spaces and unless something radically changes in the UK, we are a safe country.


America is not.

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