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'I simply wanted to save the family I found': Man who helped stop Club Q shooter releases statement

"Thankfully, we are family, and family looks after one another. We came a long way from Stonewall," Petty Officer 2nd Class Thomas James said in a statement.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo — Thomas James, one of the two people being hailed as heroes after stopping the shooter who killed five people at Club Q last weekend, is still recovering from injuries suffered in the shooting.

James, a U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class, helped stop the shooter at the LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs on the night of Nov. 19. 

Sunday, James released this statement through a Penrose Hospital spokesperson: 

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.”

            IT2 Thomas James

Credit: U.S. Navy Photo courtesy of Information Systems Technician Second Class Thomas James
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Nov. 26, 2022) Information Systems Technician Second Class Thomas James recuperates in Centura Penrose Hospital, Colorado Springs, on Nov. 26, 2022. James was among those injured in the Colorado nightclub shooting on Nov. 19.

In a news conference after the shooting, Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez described James and Richard Fierro, an Army veteran, as "the two heroes who intervened inside of Club Q." 

"Their exact actions are part of the investigation, so we can’t discuss the specifics out of respect for the judicial process, but with their permission, we want to acknowledge their heroic actions," he said.

Describing the takedown Monday, Fierro said he grabbed the suspect's pistol, and another person got the suspect's AR away from him and repeatedly kicked him in the head.

James, an Information Systems Technician Second Class, has been in the Navy since 2011. He is from West Virginia and has been stationed with the Defense Intelligence Agency in Colorado Springs since October 2021. 

James is the only Club Q shooting victim still recovering at Penrose, according to the hospital spokesperson. His condition is stable, the spokesperson said. They said he is focused on his recovery and is not conducting interviews with the media.


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