Thomas James: Navy petty officer who helped disarm Colorado nightclub shooter speaks out for first time


Thomas James, one of two men who helped disarm the gunman during last week’s mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs, issued his first statement on Sunday about his role in the attack. a statement.

“I just wanted to save the family I found,” U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class James said in a statement. “If I had my way, I would do everything in my power to protect everyone from the ridiculous acts of hate in the world, but I’m just one person. Thankfully, we’re family and we’re a family that takes care of each other. We’re from Stonewall I’ve come a long way. Bullies are not invincible.”

“I want to support all those who have lived through the pain and loss that has prevailed over the past few years. My thoughts are with those we lost on November 19th, and those who are still recovering from injuries.”

“I say to young people be brave. Your family is there. You are loved and valued. So, when you come out, come out and rock,” he added.

According to an update from the hospital, James remains in a stable condition at Centura Penrose Hospital. The hospital said he was focusing on his recovery and would not speak to the media at this time.

The comments were the first public statements he and veteran Richard Fierro have made since helping shoot down a gunman who opened fire on patrons at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado on Nov. 19. Five people were said to have been killed and at least 19 wounded in the attack. to the police.

The striker was thrown to the ground by Fierro as he was celebrating his birthday with family and friends at the club. Another person, identified by police as James, pushed the rifle out of the reach of the shooter, while Fierro hit and subdued the shooter with another gun they had, a pistol.

Speaking with CNN’s Jim Acosta on Saturday, Fierro expressed his deep appreciation for the community’s support as his family’s brewery reopened the day after Thanksgiving.

“It’s a good day,” Fierro told CNN’s Jim Acosta on Saturday. “I can’t thank enough people. I try to thank everyone who walks through this door.”

“I’m not a hero,” Fierro added. “Everyone else in that room is our hero, and everyone has a hero story to try to survive.”

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The boyfriend of Fierro’s daughter, Raymond Green Vance, 22, has been identified by authorities as one of those killed in the shooting. The suspected shooter is currently in custody without bond and faces five counts of first-degree murder and five counts of a prejudice-motivated crime — known elsewhere as a hate crime — causing bodily harm, according to court documents.

White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said President Joe Biden called Fierro and his wife Jessica on Tuesday, explaining that the president wanted to thank Fierro for his “courageous actions” in thwarting the attack and saving lives. ’ and ‘Action Instinct’.

Fierro told CNN on Saturday that he was “humbled” by the call.

“At the end of the day, I want everyone to be able to talk to him and get that honor. I’m a veteran, so just talking to the commander-in-chief is a big deal for me,” he said.

Biden told reporters on Thursday that he would try again to work with Congress to “get rid of assault weapons.” Asked about the national conversation on guns, Fierro said he respects the weapon from military training and would like to see a different mindset no matter where the gun debate goes next.

“I just hope people don’t get mad anymore. It shouldn’t be this stressful. There’s no reason for people to go to dance clubs or shows or anything and have to worry about getting shot,” he said.

For Friday’s reopening of Atrevida Brewery in Colorado Springs — which he and his wife own — Fierro said he was most encouraged by those in attendance.

“As a human being, it’s even more beautiful to see the differences, differences, diversity and inclusion in everyone. Everyone in the same room just having some fun and enjoying a beer.”


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