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Richard Fierro: Army veteran who took down the Colorado nightclub shooter thanks the community for its support a week after the attack

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Richard Fierro, the Army veteran who helped take down a shooter firing upon patrons at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado, expressed his deep appreciation for the community’s support as his family’s brewery reopened the day after Thanksgiving.

“It was a beautiful, beautiful day,” Fierro told CNN’s Jim Acosta Saturday. “I couldn’t thank enough people. I tried to thank everyone that walked through the door.”

Fierro has been hailed by authorities for his quick, life-saving actions inside Club Q in Colorado Springs on November 19, when police say an armed individual entered the building just before midnight and opened fire. Five people were killed and at least 19 were wounded in the attack, according to police.

“I’m not a hero,” Fierro told Acosta. “Everyone else in that room was a hero with us and everybody’s got a hero story to just try and survive.”

The shooter was tackled to the ground by Fierro, who had been celebrating a birthday at the club with family and friends. Another person, identified by police as Thomas James, pushed a rifle out of the shooter’s reach while Fierro struck and subdued the shooter with the other firearm they had, a handgun.

Fierro’s daughter’s boyfriend, 22-year-old Raymond Green Vance, has been identified by authorities as among those killed in the shooting. The suspected shooter is being held in custody without bond and faces five preliminary counts of first-degree murder and five counts of a bias-motivated crime – elsewhere called a hate crime – causing bodily injury, according to court documents.

President Joe Biden called Fierro and his wife, Jessica, Tuesday, White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said, explaining the president wanted to thank Fierro for his “courageous actions” and “instinct to act” in thwarting the attack and saving lives.

Fierro told CNN Saturday he was “humbled” by the call.

“At the end of the day, I wish everybody could talk to him, and just to have that honor. I’m an old soldier, so for me just to talk to a commander-in-chief is a big deal,” he said.

Biden told reporters Thursday he would again attempt to work with Congress to “get rid of assault weapons.” When asked about the national conversation around firearms, Fierro said he has respect for such weapons from his training as a soldier and wants to see a different mentality regardless of where the gun debate turns next.

“I would just like people to stop having so much anger. It shouldn’t be something this tense. There’s no reason for somebody to go to a dance club or a show or anything and have to worry about being shot,” he said.

For Friday’s reopening of the Atrevida Beer Company in Colorado Springs – of which he and his wife are owners – Fierro said he was most heartened by those in attendance.

“It was more beautiful as a person to see the variance, the difference, the diversity, the inclusion of everyone there. Everybody in the same room just having some joy and enjoying a beer.”