Performer stomped on the Colorado Club Q gunman with her high heels, according to an Army veteran who tackled and disarmed the shooter

Performer stomped on the Colorado Club Q gunman with her high heels, according to an Army veteran who tackled and disarmed the shooter
Bouquets of flowers sit on a corner near the site of a mass shooting at an LGBTQ bar in Colorado Springs, Colorado.David Zalubowski/AP
  • Army veteran Richard M. Fierro tackled the gunman who killed 5 people at Club Q in Colorado Springs.
  • Fierro said that club patrons — and a dancer — helped him disarm the shooter.

A performer helped a US Army veteran disarm and eliminate the threat posed by a man who killed five people at an LGBTQ+ night club in Colorado Springs over the weekend, stomping the shooter with her high heels after he had been tackled mid-shooting spree.

In an interview with The New York Times, published Monday, Army veteran Richard M. Fierro recounted how his military training and combat experience kicked in last Saturday when a gunman opened fire as he and his wife and 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."

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 gunman to the ground by grabbing his body armor, he said. Once sprawled on the floor, he noticed that the shooter not only had a rifle, now 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 was at least 300 pounds. Clubgoers responded, with one man securing the gunman's rifle.

In a press conference later, Fierro said, "One of the performers walked by — or was running by — and I told her 'Kick this guy. Kick this guy.

"And she took her high heel and stuffed it in his face or his head or whatever she could hit."


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.

A 22-year-old man suspected of carrying out the attack is in the hospital.

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, head of GLAAD, an LGBTQ+ advocacy group, more than 100 drag events have been the target of violent threats this year.

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November 21: 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: This story was updated with additional details of Fierro's account.