Richard Fierro, the Army veteran who stopped the Colorado Springs shooter, has been targeted with online hate from extremists who are questioning his sexuality, accusing him of being a “groomer” for being at a drag show, and calling him a “f*ggot.”
The brewery owner gained notoriety after it was revealed that Fierro was one of two unarmed individuals who sprung into action during the Club Q nightclub shooting.
Right-wing pundits and influencers have tripled down on their anti-LGBTQ rhetoric – which many blame for the hate crime.
“Are we just not supposed to talk about the US Army Major taking his family down to the local drag club for a night out?” chaos agent, Jack Posobiec, asked on social media. “Heroes don’t take their kids to drag shows, ” one of his followers responded on Telegram, Vice reported.
“So a married man, His Wife, Daughter, and her boyfriend all go to a Gay bar together? I’m gonna call bullshit on this,” a user on the far-right Christian platform Gab wrote on Tuesday. “If it’s not bullshit he’s helping to molest children and he’s all for it,” another Gab user wrote in response, adding: “F*ggot dad in closet.”
Fierro, his wife, his daughter, and his daughter’s boyfriend attended a drag show at Club Q on Saturday because a friend of the family man’s daughter was performing.
The military officer told reporters he saw a flash of gunfire and sprung into action.
“I don’t know exactly what I did, I just went into combat mode,” Fierro told reporters. “I just know I have to kill this guy before he kills us.”
Unarmed, the Iraq War veteran tackled 22-year-old, Anthony Lee Aldrich – disarming the suspect, and restraining him until law enforcement arrived.
Trolls on right-wing platforms like Gettr, Parler, Gab, and Telegram, users dismissed Fierro’s account and claimed the tragedy was “staged.”
“So a gay libtard shot up a bunch of gays and a gay ex-Soldier helped take him down. There’s more to this, something smells fishy,” someone posted on Gettr.
“Gay men dressing up like women and mocking women is misogyny. anyone who supports this is a misogynist,” another wrote on the site. “This man is not a hero. He just hates women.”
Fierro is indeed a hero.
At a time when anti-LGBTQ sentiment continues to spread around the country, and increased calls for violence against members of the community come from the right, the veteran and small business owner did what he was trained to do – honoring his oath to protect America and its citizens from all terrorists foreign and domestic.
Original reporting by David Gilbert at Vice.
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