COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — An Army veteran who stopped a shooter at Club Q in Colorado Springs in November is now headed to the Super Bowl, thanks to his favorite team.
On the evening of Nov. 18 into Nov. 19, Richard Fierro was celebrating a birthday with his wife, daughter and his daughter's boyfriend at Club Q, a LGBTQ+ club along N. Academy Boulevard in Colorado Springs. Just after midnight, a gunman began shooting in the club, leaving five people dead and 19 injured.
Two people — who were later identified as Thomas James, a sailor in the US Navy, and Fierro — subdued the 22-year-old suspect before anybody else was hurt. They held the suspect until police arrived and took the person into custody.
"I got into the mode: I needed to save my family. And my family, at that time, was everybody in the room," Fierro said a few days after the shooting.
His daughter’s boyfriend, Raymond Green Vance, 22, was one of the five people killed.
On Dec. 30, the Los Angeles Chargers said it learned that Fierro is a huge Chargers fan. To thank him for his bravery, the team invited him to a practice, where he met all of the players. He, along with his family, shook hands and hugged many of them.
They also got to meet some of the coaches.
"I don't even know what to say," he said as he shook hands with one coach.
A few days later, on Jan. 2, the Chargers tweeted that they had once again connected with Fierro. This time, they came with an even bigger gift.
It started with Fierro meeting Bolts legend LaDainian Tomlinson at the Chargers vs. Los Angeles Rams game on Sunday at SoFi Stadium.
Tomlinson played as a running back for 11 seasons in the NFL and earned multiple honors, including being named the Chargers' Most Valuable Player five times, voted to five Pro Bowls, named to NFL's All-Decade Team of 2000s, and NFL MVP in 2006. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017.
"Hey, you famous, man!" Fierro exclaimed. "Oh my God, babe! This is LT, man!"
his reaction is actually everything 💙 pic.twitter.com/cR8kOnj3jC— Los Angeles Chargers (@chargers) January 2, 2023
He was then welcomed out onto the field in front of the full stadium.
"I don't even know what's going on, man," he said as Tomlinson, who is now an analyst on the NFL Network, held a large wrapped item next to him.
Over the stadium speakers, the Chargers said to recognize his heroic actions on the evening of the shooting and acknowledge his bravery, they wanted to present him with the gift of a lifetime.
"Richard, you are going to Super Bowl LVII!" the spokesperson said over the speakers, as Fierro finished unwrapping the large sign.
At the same time, Fierro raised it above his head and jumped around.
"I'm going to the Super Bowl! Holy ****!" he yelled. "Touchdown, baby! Dude, I did not want to cry. Holy crap."
Afterward, the Chargers beat the Rams 31-10.
Super Bowl LVII is scheduled for Feb. 12 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.