"Richard M. Fierro said he was at a table in Club Q with his wife, daughter and friends on Saturday, watching a drag show, when the sudden flash of gunfire ripped across the nightclub" DNYUZ reported on Tuesday. "His instincts from four combat deployments as an Army officer in Iraq and Afghanistan instantly kicked in. Fight back, he told himself."
Five people were killed and nearly 20 more were wounded when Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, armed with a semi-automatic rifle and a handgun and donning a ballistic vest, opened fire Saturday night in the club. But even police say that the death and casualty rate likely would have been much higher if no one had intervened.
In an interview with the outlet as his wife and daughter continued to recover from injuries received during the incident, Fierro, 45, who left the service in 2013 with the rank of major, his military records indicate, talked about how he instinctively got up off the floor after initially taking cover before locating the gunman, tackling him, and then beating him nearly unconscious with the gunman's own handgun.
“I don’t know exactly what I did, I just went into combat mode,” Fierro said, shaking his head. “I just know I have to kill this guy before he kills us.”
DNYUZ noted further: "Fierro’s description of what happened in those moments in Club Q closely matches accounts given by the police and city officials and by the club’s owners, who have reviewed security footage from the massacre. When they were shown a picture of Mr. Fierro on Monday, one club owner, Nic Grzecka, said that he looked like the man who took down the gunman."
“I don’t even know his name,” said Grzecka. “I would really like to meet him.”
When the firing began, Fierro said his training kicked in and he immediately hit the floor and pulled a friend to the ground with him. With bullets flying, he saw the gunman moving through the bar and towards a door that led to a patio where scores of bar customers had escaped. The 15-year Army vet said he got up, ran across the room and grabbed the shooter by a handle on the back of his body armor before jerking him to the floor and jumping on top of him.
“Was he shooting at the time? Was he about to shoot? I don’t know,” Fierro told the outlet. “I just knew I had to take him down.”
The gunman, who Fierro estimated to be around 300 pounds, fell backward and sprawled on the floor, with his rifle just out of his reach. As Fierro began to secure the rifle, he noticed that the gunman had a handgun as well.
“I grabbed the gun out of his hand and just started hitting him in the head, over and over," he said, adding that while he was struggling with the shooter, he called on other bar patrons to help him.
The outlet adds:
A man grabbed the rifle and moved it away to safety. A drag dancer stomped on the gunman with her high heels. The whole time, Mr. Fierro said, he kept pummeling the shooter’s head while the two men screamed obscenities at each other.
When police arrived a few minutes later, the gunman was no longer struggling, Mr. Fierro said, and he feared that he had killed him. The suspect in the shooting was taken into custody and remained hospitalized on Monday afternoon.
The Army vet's record says he was twice awarded a Bronze Star for combat, much of which still haunts him. The owner of a local brewery, Fierro was asked why he left the military, and he said: "I was done with war."
Left-wing news pundits and Democrats have blamed the attack on Republicans and conservatives, of course, but the alleged shooter, Aldrich, reportedly calls himself "non-binary" -- not exactly a MAGA type.