'I did what I had to do': Army veteran who tackled suspected Club Q gunman shares haunting details

'I did what I had to do': Army veteran who tackled suspected Club Q gunman shares haunting details
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Retired United States Army Major Richard Fierro, who helped to tackle the 300-pound man accused of murdering five people inside Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado late Saturday night, spoke with CNN anchor John Berman on Monday evening's edition of Anderson Cooper 360.

Fierro, the recipient of two Bronze Stars, was at Club Q to see his daughter's friend participate in a drag performance. Her boyfriend Raymond Green Vance was among those killed in the unprovoked attack, which on Transgender Day of Remembrance marked this year's 601st mass shooting.

Fierro previously spoke at a press conference alongside Colorado Springs' Republican Mayor John Suthers on Monday afternoon, where Fierro said that he "was trying to protect my family." Fierro also told The New York Times that “I don’t know exactly what I did, I just went into combat mode," recalling that he felt that "I just know I have to kill this guy before he kills us.”

READ MORE: Iraq vet took down Club Q gunman by and a 'drag dancer stomped on him with her high heels': New York Times

During his conversation with Berman, Fierro revealed additional, visceral details:

I did what I had to do. And honestly, I didn't – I don’t care about myself at that moment. I cared about everybody that was around me and I cared, especially about my family. As soon as I got done with that guy and the cop came in, I went across the room and started first aid with my friend who was shot in the chest and the legs in the arms. And I told Joanne, stay with me. Look me in the eye. Stay with me. And I moved her head so she wouldn’t him because he was shot. And Chip was right there, her husband was reaching for her. So I put her hand in his so that they could be together. I didn’t know if they were going to make it.

This, this guy, man. This whole thing was a lot. My daughter and wife should have never experienced combat in Colorado Springs and everybody in that building experienced combat that night. Not to their own accord, but because they were forced to. And I told my daughter, for me downrange it was always, 'hey, get in the next patrol, get in the next patrol, and you're done. Get over it. Get in the next patrol. They don't have that option. Nobody in that building has the option to get on the next patrol.

They have to live with this now for whenever. It’s a lot for any human, man. This kid that was helping me was kicking another human in the head. And I told him to do it. I don’t know what to do. You know, there was a beautiful, one of the other performers was walking by when the kid was getting tired of kicking. And she did, she helped him, kicked him with the high heels that she had on, and then ran because she’s probably scared. I don’t know what’s going on in there. I was trying to get people to call the police, and that was it.

I told the mayor, I'm not, I'm not, I'm not a hero. I'm just a guy that wanted to protect his kids. And his wife. And I still didn't get to protect her boyfriend.

Berman:

Major, you helped a lot of people. You helped a lot of people and no one should ever, ever go through what you or your family or the people in that bar went through that night. Tell us about – tell us about Raymond Vance. Tell us about your daughter's boyfriend. How, how will you remember him?

Fierro:

She's going through a lot man. She's 22 and she loved this boy. She's been with him – so we went go to see her junior prom date, Little Wyatt. Kid was with her since elementary school and got here in 2007 and I was still in the Army. Wyatt's been with her the whole time. Her best friend – we went to go see perform a drag show. He was amazing. Great kid. And then this happens and my daughter loses her prom date, her boyfriend that she's been with forever. His mom – we were telling her that we thought he was out there still. She came by our house and we were at the hospital. I was dealing with the cops and I'm trying to get, how do we get Raymond?

Berman:

I'm so sorry. I'm just so sorry. I see someone's rubbing your shoulder there. How are your wife and daughter doing?

READ MORE: Hate crime, murder charges filed against Club Q suspect in anti-LGBTQ mass shooting

Fierro:

They're hurting, man. They're hurting but we gotta do what we can. And we're strong man, and hey, we walked out, I told the three of us when we were on our way home from the hospital, my daughter looked at me. I said, 'we gotta be strong for the three of us.' And last night when we both broke down, we both told each other we're gonna be there for each other the whole time, 'cause we still gotta get this guy, man. We gotta face him in court.

I feel no, no sorrow for that dude and I hope he's in the hospital hurting because he killed my f*cking – he killed family.

Berman:

Major, you've been strong for a lot of people. Now people are gonna be there for you and help take care of you and you're gonna take care of each other through this. I know it's not easy and I know it's gonna be a tough several days and weeks and months and some of the pain is never gonna go away but you helped a lot of people. You helped a lot of people and I want to thank you for what you've done and I want to thank you for talking to us tonight and please take care of yourself. Your wife and daughter, give them giant hugs from us.

Fierro:

But before you go, I do, I want to apologize for the people who didn't get their kids. All of them deserve to have their kids home tonight.

Berman:

There's no question about that. All those people deserve to be home with their families tonight. And they're not.

READ MORE: Accused Colorado Springs shooter is the grandson of a GOP CA state assemblyman who compared Jan 6 to the American Revolution

Watch below or at this link.

READ MORE: GOP congressman deluged with angry responses over Club Q tweet

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