‘I simply wanted to save the family I found’: Club Q hero releases 1st statement

The face of a hero: U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Thomas James has been credited as one of...
The face of a hero: U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Thomas James has been credited as one of the people to take down the Club Q shooter.(U.S. Navy)
Published: Nov. 27, 2022 at 10:17 AM MST|Updated: Nov. 28, 2022 at 12:34 PM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - One of the heroes credited by police with stopping the gunman from claiming more lives at Club Q a week ago was released from the hospital on Monday.

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Thomas James was injured that night, but despite that played a crucial role in taking down the shooter. Law enforcement have hailed James and Richard Fierro as heroes who stopped the massacre from being even worse.

Kevin Massey, the Communications Field Advisor for Centura Health, tells CBS Colorado James was discharged Monday morning.

James released his first statement Sunday morning.

I simply wanted to save the family I found. If I had my way, I would shield everyone I could from the nonsensical acts of hate in the world, but I am only one person.

Thankfully, we are family, and family looks after one another. We came a long way from Stonewall. Bullies aren’t invincible.

I want to support everyone who has known the pain and loss that have been all too common these past few years. My thoughts are with those we lost on Nov. 19, and those who are still recovering from their injuries.

To the youth I say be brave. Your family is out there. You are loved and valued. So when you come out of the closet, come out swinging.” - ITC Thomas James

The Navy confirmed earlier in the week that James was among the 25 injured when a shooter opened fire at the popular LGBTQ+ nightclub.

“We remain hopeful he will make a full recovery,” a statement from the Navy read in part.

James and Fierro immediately rushed at the gunman, stopping him within four minutes of when he first started shooting. Fierro has spoken publicly about those minutes, stating that he was able to grab one of the shooter’s guns, then threw him to the ground. At this point, Fierro says James jumped in and helped push a second firearm away from the suspect, then the two men began repeatedly beating him with his own weapon.

A third person, who has not been identified publicly, helped the two men keep the suspect down, according to Fierro.

“One of the performers walked by or was running by, and I told her, ‘Kick this guy, kick this guy,’ and she took her high heel and stuffed it in his face,” Fierro said.

It’s unclear if James was hurt before or during his heroic actions.

"If I had my way, I would shield everyone I could from the nonsensical acts of hate in the world, but I am only one person."