‘Bullies Aren’t Invincible’ Says Second Club Q Hero In First Public Statement

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

One of the people who helped subdue the Club Q shooter in Colorado Springs last weekend says he “simply wanted to save the family I found.”

Thomas James, a U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class, helped disarm the shooter while another man, a decorated U.S. Army veteran named Richard Fierro, overpowered and detained the assailant with their own handgun.

A third person also stepped in to help, reportedly stomping the shooter’s face with her high heels.

Five people were killed and at least 17 others were injured, including James, who released his first public statement Sunday through Centura Penrose Hospital, where he’s recovering from undisclosed injuries.

“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,” James said in the statement. “Thankfully, we are family, and family looks after one another. We came a long way from Stonewall. Bullies aren’t invincible.”

He closed with a defiant message of hope for young people.

“To the youth I say be brave,” he said. “Your family is out there. You are loved and valued. So when you come out of the closet, come out swinging.”

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Thomas James in Centura Penrose Hospital on Saturday in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Thomas James in Centura Penrose Hospital on Saturday in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
U.S. Navy via Associated Press

Here’s James’ statement in full:

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.

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