By THOMAS PEIPERT, JESSE BEDAYN and BRITTANY PETERSON (Associated Press)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The man suspected of opening fire at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs was being held on murder and hate crime charges Monday, while hundreds of people gathered to honor the five people killed and 17 wounded in the attack on a venue that for decades was a sanctuary for the local LGBTQ community.
Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, faces five murder charges and five charges of committing a bias-motivated crime causing bodily injury in Saturday night’s attack at Club Q, online court records showed.
Authorities said the attack was halted by two club patrons including Richard Fierro, who told reporters Monday night that he took a handgun from Aldrich, hit him with it and pinned him down with help from another person.
Fierro, a 15-year U.S. Army veteran who owns a local brewery, said he was celebrating a birthday with family members when the suspect “came in shooting.” Fierro said during a lull in the shooting he ran at the suspect, who was wearing some type of armor plates, and pulled him down before severely beating him until police arrived.
“I tried to save people and it didn’t work for five of them,” he said. “These are all good people. … I’m not a hero. I’m just some dude.”
Fierro’s daughter’s longtime boyfriend, Raymond Green Vance, 22, was killed, while his daughter hurt her knee as she ran for cover. Fierro injured his hands, knees and ankle…