crimes

How US Navy sailor Thomas James helped US Army veteran Richard Fierro stop Colorado Springs’ Anderson Lee Aldrich

Thomas James of West Virginia, United States is a U.S. Navy sailor. He is an information systems technician petty officer and was qualified as an enlisted aviation warfare specialist and enlisted surface warfare specialist.

In 2011, James enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He served aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard and at posts in England and the Naval Air Station Lemoore in California, USA.

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Aside from being awarded the Joint Service Achievement Medal twice, James received several other awards including a Good Conduct Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. In October 2021, he was stationed with the Defense Intelligence Agency in Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado, USA.

At 9:00 p.m. on November 19, 2022, a drag show started in Club Q in Colorado Springs. Among the patrons were James and U.S. Army veteran Richard Fierro, 45.

Just before midnight, Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, entered the club and used an AR-style semiautomatic rifle to open fire, killing five people and wounding 25 others. After diving to duck any potential incoming fire, Fierro moved to try to disarm Aldrich.

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Fierro grabbed Aldrich’s body armor and began punching the gunman while James began kicking the gunman. When Aldrich reached for a handgun, Fierro grabbed it from the gunman told James to kick away the gunman’s rifle.

A drag show performer who ran by stuffed a high-heeled shoe in Aldrich’s face, following Fierro’s orders. The performer helped Fierro and James subdue the gunman.  

For a few minutes, Fierro and James pinned Aldrich down. At 12:02 a.m. on November 20, 2022, a Colorado Springs Police Department officer arrested the gunman.

Both Fierro and James were injured. The latter is currently in stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery, the U.S. Navy announced on November 22, 2022.

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