Among the heroes identified by witnesses and officials in the Club Q shooting was U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Thomas James, who reportedly charged the suspected shooter with Richard Fierro and possibly others at the bar.
James, through a Centura Heath spokesman, issued a statement Sunday for the first time since the shooting at the Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub.
“I simply wanted to save the family I found,” James said. “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,” James continued. “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.”
James is recovering from unspecified injuries at Centura Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs, where a number of victims were sent after the shooting. A hospital spokesman said James is now in stable condition.
The U.S. Navy confirmed that James was one of the victims after a news conference last week where Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers identified James as a hero that charged and helped subdue the shooter. Details as to each person’s role in subduing the shooter are still under investigation.
“Thomas James was among those injured in the Colorado nightclub shooting on Nov. 19. James is currently in stable condition and we remain hopeful he will make a full recovery,” the Navy said in a statement on Tuesday. “We ask that all respect his privacy as he continues his recovery.”
Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez said that James was one of two people who helped to stop the suspected shooter who walked into Club Q late on Nov. 19 with multiple firearms and is accused of killing five people. At least 17 others were injured.
James reportedly pushed a rifle out of the suspect’s reach while Fierro repeatedly struck the shooter with a handgun they brought into the bar, officials have said.