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Parents of SD native: heroic actions in Club Q were decades in the shaping

Parents of San Diego native: heroic actions in Club Q were decades in the shaping
Posted at 6:18 PM, Nov 22, 2022

ESCONDIDO, Calif. (KGTV) - The parents of the San Diego native and Army veteran who helped stop the gunman in the Colorado Springs nightclub shooting say his actions were decades in the shaping.

“It's amazing, but it's not out of character for him,” said Richard Fierro.

“He went after him to prevent him from hurting his family,” said Frances Fierro.

Father, Richard, and mother, Frances, say the actions of their son, Rich Fierro, that fateful night were not surprising.

As a young boy, Rich would routinely defend underdogs, including family.

“He stuck up for brother many times. His brother got into a jam in the neighborhood, little fights the kids had. He’d step in right away. No one was going to touch this brother,” said Richard.

Fierro, who played both football and baseball at Mira Mesa high, was known for being fearless, decisive under pressure and intense.

“His coach at Mira Mesa High would tell him to shut up and sit down, because he would get so intense,” said Frances.

Fierro, later joined the Army, working an artillery officer, with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, before leaving after 15 years.

It was that training that he fell back on when the gunshots rang out in Club Q.

“He saw flashes and knew it was an automatic weapon,” said Richard.

Richard says his son, who had been sitting at a table, immediately knew what was happening and reacted quickly. When the gunman, who was wearing a flak vest, turned his back, Fierro jumped into action.

“He knew there was a handle in the back, because you’ve got to hang them. They’re heavy. He went right for that guy, and pulled him right down. That guy was bigger than him,” said Richard.

Fierro, a disabled veteran suffering from back, shoulder and knee issues, would disarm the gunman, and beat him his own pistol, while directing another man to grab the shooter's semiautomatic rifle.

Fierro's daughter would be injured, while her boyfriend was killed. Two other friends were also shot. In all, five would die, but that number would have been much higher, if not for Fierro.

“He just reacted, and that came from military training. But his emotions were, 'My family. I had to protect my family,” said Frances.

The Fierros plan to fly out to Colorado to be with family Wednesday.