A US Army veteran who stopped a suspected gunman from fatally shooting more people after allegedly killing five people at a Colorado LGBTQ nightclub says he is no hero and mourns the people who died , including his daughter’s boyfriend.
“There are five people I haven’t been able to help, one of whom has been family to me,” Richard Fierro said during a Monday night news conference outside his home.
“I feel no joy. That guy is alive… and my family isn’t,” he said, referring to his daughter’s boyfriend, Raymond Green Vance, who was killed in the shooting.
Five people were killed and 17 others injured from gunshot wounds after a suspect, Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, allegedly started shooting as he entered Club Q in Colorado Springs Saturday night, according to police. Aldrich faces five counts of murder and five counts of prejudice-motivated crimes causing bodily harm, which is Colorado’s hate crimes statute.
Watch as Colorado Gov. Jared Polis speaks about the deadly shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub on The View today.
Fierro and another individual, Thomas James – both of whom authorities have called heroes – confronted and fought with Aldrich, ultimately saving more lives, police said.
Fierro told reporters that he and his family were at Club Q to see his daughter’s junior prom date on the drag show that night.
He said he took the suspect’s pistol from him and began “whining” and hitting him while telling a bystander to take away the gun the suspect was using. According to officers briefed on the investigation, the suspect used a legally-obtained assault rifle
“I told him I was going to kill him,” Fierro said. He asked a drag actress to kick the suspect, he said, adding that she stepped on the suspect’s face with her high heel.
“I tried to finish him off,” Fierro said.
According to the Colorado Springs Police Department and Mayor’s Office, the suspect was beaten so severely that he has been in the hospital since Monday night.
While Fierro may dismiss the hero label, others have praised his “heroic deeds.”
“Richard was actually able to take a pistol from the suspect’s waist and hit him with it, immobilizing and disabling him,” Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers told ABC News Live’s Linsey Davis on Monday Prime. “And I’m absolutely confident in that, and I think most people who are familiar with this incident are confident that it saved numerous lives.”
Fierro said his daughter was injured in the incident and is recovering from her injuries while mourning Vance’s death.
Fierro served in the US Army for 14 years, serving three times in Iraq and once in Afghanistan. Pablo Saez to ABC News.
Fierro said he left the military because he was “physically broken” but that his army training kicked in when the shooting started.
“I came in [a] Modus and I had to save my family,” he said. “It’s the reflex. go to fight Stop the action. Stop the activity. Don’t let anyone get hurt.”
ABC News’ Marilyn Heck, Luis Martinez, Matt Gutman and Nick Kerr contributed to this report.