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 shooter in last week’s mass shooting inside Club Q in Colorado Springs, gave his first statement about his role in the attack on Sunday.

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

“I want to support everyone who knows the pain and loss that has been so common these past few years. My thoughts are with those we lost on November 19th and those still recovering from their injuries.

“I say to young people, be brave. Your family is out. You are loved and valued. So, when you come out of the closet, come out swinging,” she said.

James is in stable condition at Centura Penrose Hospital, according to a hospital update. The hospital said he is focusing on recovery and will not be holding media interviews at this time.

The comments represent his first public statement since he and Richard Fierro helped a shooter open fire on patrons at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado on Nov. 19. Five people were killed and at least 19 injured in the attack. to the police.

The shooter was tackled to the ground by Fiero, who was celebrating his birthday at a club with family and friends. Another man, identified by police as James, pushed the rifle out of the shooter’s reach, but Fierro shot the shooter with the other gun he had and seized it.

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

“It’s a beautiful, beautiful day,” Fierro told CNN’s Jim Acosta on Saturday. “I couldn’t thank enough people. I tried to thank everyone who walked through the door.

“I’m not a hero,” Fierro added. “Everyone in that room was a hero with us and everyone has a hero’s story to try and live up to.”

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Authorities identified Fierro’s daughter’s boyfriend, 22-year-old Raymond Green Vance, as among those killed in the shooting. The suspected shooter is being held without bond and faces five preliminary counts of bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury — known elsewhere as a hate crime — and five preliminary counts of first-degree murder, according to court records.

President Joe Biden called Fierro and his wife, Jessica, on Tuesday, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre explained, explaining that the president wanted to thank Fierro for his “courageous actions” and “executive spirit” in preventing the attack and saving lives.

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 have that respect. I am an old soldier, so speaking to the Commander-in-Chief is a big deal for me,” he said.

Biden told reporters Thursday that he would try to work again with Congress to “get rid of assault weapons.” Asked about the national conversation around guns, Fierro said he has a respect for such weapons from his training as a soldier and wants to see a different mindset regardless of where the gun debate turns.

“I want people to stop getting so angry. It shouldn’t be this tense thing. There’s no reason why someone can go to a dance club or a show or anything and not have to worry about being filmed,” he said.

For Friday’s reopening of Atrevida Beer Company in Colorado Springs — which he and his wife own — Fierro said he was the most enthusiastic of those in attendance.

“It was more beautiful to see the difference, the difference, the diversity, the inclusiveness of everyone there as a person. Everyone in the same room enjoying some fun and beer.


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