The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) announced Tuesday that it will award its Presidential Medal to US Army veteran Rich Fierro for his heroism in confronting the suspect in the shooting that left five dead and 25 wounded in Colorado over the weekend.
The largest Hispanic group in the US, with 93 years since its foundation, highlighted the value of Fierro, who has been recognized as a hero by the authorities in charge of the investigation of the shooting that occurred in a gay bar.
“Rich was decorated twice for heroism in combat and he is an example of what our Latino soldiers and veterans do in the face of danger, even if it means putting their lives on the line,” said Domingo Garcia, LULAC President.
Fierro, 45, was a member of the US Army until 2013. That year he retired with the rank of major after being awarded twice the Bronze Star for heroism in combat.
The Latino was inside the Colorado Springs Q Club with his wife and daughter when the alleged shooter, 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich, entered the venue and began shooting at midnight Saturday.
According to authorities, the attacker killed two club employees identified as Daniel Aston and Derrick Rump, as well as Kelly Loving, Ashley Paugh and Raymond Green Vance.
Green Vance was the boyfriend of Fierro’s daughter.
According to witnesses, Fierro lunged at the suspect, grabbed him by his bulletproof vest and knocked him to the ground where he hit him with his own pistol, leaving him bloody and immobile.
A LULAC statement said other clients joined the effort, including Fierro’s wife, Jessica.
The organization, Garcia added, awarded this veteran with four tours of service in Iraq and Afghanistan the LULAC Presidential Medal, “the highest honor bestowed by the League in its 93-year history” and also a reward of $5,000.
In the midst of “absolute chaos,” Jessica said in an interview with local media, her husband took charge, asking someone to call the police while the ex-soldier wrestled with Aldrich.
As a result of his actions, Fierro received injuries to his hands, knees, and ankles. Jessica and her daughter escaped into the yard, but the woman still received minor injuries and the young woman fractured one of her knees.
LULAC also condemned the attack on Club Q and demanded that Congress and the administration of President Joe Biden act quickly to “make hate crimes of this nature punishable by death.”
Source: El Nuevo Herald