Biden phones Army vet who tackled Colorado Springs gunman to thank him for his bravery

President Joe Biden has called Richard Fierro, the Army veteran credited with taking down and disarming the gunman who attacked an LGBT+ nightclub in Colorado Springs at the weekend.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that the president personally thanked Mr Fierro “for his bravery and for his just instinct to act and the ability by him doing that saving, saving, maybe dozens of lives”.

“The president just moments ago spoke to Richard and his wife Jess. He offered his condolences to them and also his support and he talked through what it’s like to grieve,” she said, referring to the death of their daughter’s long-term boyfriend in the attack on Saturday.

Additionally, Ms Jean-Pierre noted that another individual, Thomas James, has also been credited with confronting and stopping the gunman.

“Richard and Thomas are heroes, and we are so grateful for their quick action,” she said.

Further, the press secretary noted that the attack occurred on the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance when the community was already mourning the transgender people, especially transgender women of color, who have been killed over the past years. She said that now two more have been added to that count.

The attack comes amid a rise in violent rhetoric and threats against the LGBT+ plus people across the US.

Speaking to CNN on Monday night, Mr Fierro described what happened when the shooter began firing in Club Q on Saturday night.

He recognised that the shooter, 22-year-old Anderson Aldrich, was wearing a flak vest which has a handle on it and ran across the room, grabbed it, and pulled him to the floor.

Another person, believed to be Thomas James, helped Mr Fierro bring Mr Aldrich to the ground and he told them to push the AR-15 rifle away.

“I then proceeded to take his other weapon, a pistol, and just started hitting him wherever I could, but the armour was in the way,” said Mr Fierro. “I found a crease between his armour and his head and I just started waling away with his gun.”

“I told the kid in front of me ‘kick him, keep kicking him’,” he recalled, adding that he shouted at others to help and call 911.

In an earlier interview with The New York Times, the aforementioned kid was initially referred to as a drag dancer but has since been identified as a trans woman, who proceeded to stomp on the suspect with her high heels.

Mr Fierro had been at the club with his wife Jess Fierro, friends, daughter Kassy and her boyfriend Raymond Green, who was one of five victims fatally shot in the attack.

At a press conference on Monday, Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said he had met with Mr Fierro.

“I have never encountered a person who had engaged in such heroic actions that were so humble about it. He simply said to me: ‘I was trying to protect my family’.”