An Army veteran tackled the shooter who killed five people at Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The man, Richard M. Fierro, told The New York Times that others helped him disarm the attacker.
According to Fierro, a fellow bystander stomped on the assailant with high heels.
A fellow bystander is said to have helped a US Army veteran disarm and eliminate the threat posed by a person who fatally shot five people at an LGBTQ night club in Colorado Springs, Colorado, over the weekend, stomping the shooter with her high heels after the veteran tackled the assailant.
In an interview with The New York Times, published Monday, the Army veteran, Richard M. Fierro, recounted how his military training and combat experience kicked in Saturday when someone opened fire as he, his wife, and their daughter were enjoying a night out at Club Q.
"I don't know exactly what I did, I just went into combat mode," Fierro told the newspaper. "I just know I have to kill this guy before he kills us."
The 22-year-old suspect in the attack was taken to a hospital afterward. Fierro referred to the attacker using male pronouns, but in court documents Tuesday, defense attorneys said the suspect identified as nonbinary.
During the attack, Fierro's first reaction, he said, was to get down. There he saw the shooter heading toward a door to a patio where many clubgoers had gone after gunfire erupted.
"Was he shooting at the time? Was he about to shoot? I don't know," Fierro said. "I just knew I had to take him down."
Fierro pulled the shooter to the ground by grabbing the person's body armor, he said. Once sprawled on the floor, he said, he noticed that the attacker had not only a rifle, then laying some feet away, but a handgun.
"I grabbed the gun out of his hand and just started hitting him in the head, over and over," Fierro recounted.
It was then that he asked for help restraining the shooter, who Fierro guessed weighed at least 300 pounds. Clubgoers responded, with one man securing the attacker's rifle.
Fierro told the Times that one of the people running by had high heels, and he then asked her to stomp the attacker with them.
In addition to the five fatalities — two bartenders who worked at the club, a trans woman, and a man and woman there to see the show — the attack on Club Q left another 25 people injured.
The mass shooting came just before Transgender Day of Remembrance, which honors those killed for their identity, and comes as far-right activists have been singling out drag performances in a campaign that experts warned over the summer could fuel violence. According to Sarah Kate Ellis, the head of the LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD, more than 100 drag events have been the target of violent threats this year.
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November 21, 2022: This story has been updated to reflect that contrary to previous media reports, the district attorney on the case said charges have not been filed against the suspect yet. Previous reports stated that charges had been filed.
November 23, 2022: This story was updated with additional details of Richard M. Fierro's account.
Correction: November 24, 2022 — An earlier version of this story quoted Fierro describing one of the bystanders who helped him at Club Q. The New York Times, which interviewed Fierro, updated its article and cited an owner of the club as saying the person was a transgender woman and not a drag performer as Fierro said. This story has also been updated with the attorneys' statement that the suspect in the attack identifies as nonbinary.
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