A man who has been called a hero for helping fatally subdue the suspectThey have talked about what they experienced inside the venue.
Former soldier Richard Fierro told reporters outside his home that his wife and daughter were with him during the shooting at Club Q. His wife was not seriously injured, but their daughter, Cassie, broke her knee. Her boyfriend, Raymond Green Vance, was one of them., They said. The family went to an LGBTQ+ nightclub that evening because Cassie’s old junior prom date was performing there.
“All I know is that I got into mode and I needed to save my family,” said Fierro, 45, who was emotional as he spoke. “That family, at that point, was everybody in that room.”
Fierro expressed his regret for not being able to help the five people who died, but,, His actions helped prevent the great loss of life. A second man, identified by police as Thomas James, also helped subdue the shooter, but he has yet to speak publicly.
Fierro, who served four tours in Iran and Afghanistan and left the military as a major, said his military training began as soon as the suspect “came into the crossfire.”
“I wasn’t thinking. I just ran out there,” Fierro said. “(I thought), ‘I have to kill this man. He’s going to kill my baby. He’s going to kill my wife.’ … It’s just the reflex: ‘Go on. Go on fighting. Stop the action. Stop the activity. Don’t let anybody get hurt.'”
He acted quickly, said Fierro, getting up and grabbing the shooter behind his body armor and pulling him to the ground. the action disarmed the shooter, who then, Fierro said. Meanwhile, Fierro yells at a nearby patron to put away the large gun the suspect was firing.
“I snatched the pistol from him … and then I started pouncing on him,” Fierro said, adding that he yelled at the same patron who fired a second gun at the shooter to kick him out. A drag queen also kicked the suspect in high heels at Fierro’s urging, he said. James’s role in the incident has not been established.
Fierro said he did not know whether the suspect spoke to him when he subdued him.
Fierro said, “I was cursing at him, I don’t care what he said to me. I’m going to see that guy in court, and he’s going to see who did it.”
Fierro said he was handcuffed and briefly held by police after the shooting, but said he did not blame them because police were still trying to determine whether the events at that time were involved. What was his role?
Fierro said that she and her family, who all identify as straight, have been strong supporters of the LGBTQ+ community. The motto of the brewery that he co-owns with his wife, Jessica, is “Diversity, it’s on tap!” and serves a “Christopher Street” beer that pays homage to the LGBTQ+ community. The brewery also marches in a pride parade every year.
“I love each and every one of them,” said Fierro. “That community, I love. I have nothing but love. I have nothing but love for everybody.”
Fierro said he would not discuss the death of his daughter’s boyfriend Vance, but said he “loved her” and that the two had been joking shortly before her death. Fierro also said that two close friends of the family are in the hospital.
According to police, in addition to the five people killed inside Club Q, 17 people suffered gunshot wounds and one person experienced non-gunshot injuries.
The 22-year-old suspect has also been admitted to the hospital. Authorities have not commented publicly on his condition, but he is expected to appear in court virtually from jail after his release from the hospital.