High heels vs AR15, guess who won

It was an epic battle in Club Q: one hateful gunman inflamed with the rhetoric of conservative pundits versus a room full of unarmed dancers and partiers, and one guy who took action, Richard Fierro.

As he looked up from the floor, Fierro spotted the shooter’s body armor and instead of running from the attacker, moved toward him, grasped the body armor, then stripped suspected gunman Anderson Aldrich of his rifle and beat him bloody with it.

“I grabbed the gun out of his hand and just started hitting him in the head, over and over,” Fierro told the Times, describing a scuffle in which he found himself atop the 300-something pound gunman, who had momentarily lost his grip on his rifle. “I just know I have to kill this guy before he kills us.”

He said he enlisted the help of another patron, Thomas James, to secure the rifle so it was out of reach of their attacker.

He also enlisted the help of a drag performer from the club, asking them to kick the gunman. The performer, he said, “stuffed a high-heeled shoe in the attacker’s face.”

That was so satisfying to read. That’s what we all need to do, fight back against the gutless cowards.

An important part of the heroism, though, is that Richard Fierro was at that club with his family because he loves the lgbtq community, wants to support their businesses, and enjoyed their company. He’s on the side of light.

His wife also made a statement.

With an incredibly heavy and broken heart we lost Raymond, who had been a part of our lives since our daughter was in high school. Raymond was Kassy’s boyfriend. We are going to miss him and his bright smile so much. We are going through a lot of emotions as a family and as a brewery. The loss of lives and the injured are in our hearts. We are devastated and torn. We love our #lgbtq community and stand with them. This cowardly and despicable act of hate has no room in our lives or business.

I’m proud that this family is on our side. Also disgusted at the Tucker Carlsons and Chaya Raichiks and all the Christian evangelicals who have been encouraging the hate for so long


  1. hemidactylus says

    Coyne has managed to parlay this horrific incident of gun violence against and heroism amongst responsive patrons into his recent trend of glaring disapprovingly at the FFRF. I guess FFRF has undergone some wokist mission creep and Coyne of course can’t tolerate that. Uggh!

    That’s what happens when one views everything through an antiwoke lens.

  2. Akira MacKenzie says

    Also disgusted at the Tucker Carlsons and Chaya Raichiks and all the Christian evangelicals who have been encouraging the hate for so long [Emphasis mine]

    Make way for the liberal defenders of religion and “Progressive Christians” to lecture us that right-wing Bible-humpers aren’t “real Christians” even though the homophobia and misogyny have been part of Christian dogma since the beginning.

  3. wzrd1 says

    His daughter’s boyfriend was killed by the gunman. Pity he couldn’t get to the shithead before he could open fire. :(

  4. raven says

    Also disgusted at the Tucker Carlsons and Chaya Raichiks and all the Christian evangelicals who have been encouraging the hate for so long

    This is stochastic terrorism.

    And, it is working.
    They’ve got the dead bodies to show for it.

  5. says

    I thought the FFRF was pretty circumspect in their comments. I don’t think it’s at all a reach to suggest that the guy in Colorado Springs, a notoriously fundamentalist wackjob of a city, who targeted the one lgbtq party place in town for murder, was motivated by hate for gay people. That’s further clinched by the fact that the police, who do know more and are already outrageously antagonistic to gay rights, have specifically charged the murderer with a hate crime.

    It’s not mission creep for the FFRF, anyway, which was founded by a feminist and has always favored social justice.

  6. raven says

    Stochastic terrorism against LGBTQ+ is increasing.
    The attack on the Colorado Springs nightclub that left 5 people dead and 25 wounded is just the latest in a series of attacks.

    One of the main weapons of the stochastic terrorists is…Twitter, which can be bothered to clean up their content and stop supporting terrorists.

    “Two accounts on Twitter targeting the LGBTQ+ public are Gays Against Groomers and Libs of TikTok. Both accounts strategically packaged messages to their followers, knowing that drawing attention to LGBTQ+ events will outrage and anger them.”

    The Advocate
    Club Q Shooting Comes Amid Increased Attacks on LGBTQ+ Venues
    Christopher Wiggins
    Sun, November 20, 2022 at 12:40 PM edited for length

    In the wake of Saturday’s mass shooting at the queer club Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colo., which left five people dead and at least 18 wounded, advocates point to the increased anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric online and the numerous anti-LGBTQ+ bills drafted in recent months.

    Far-right influencers have set their sights on the LGBTQ+ community, specifically the transgender community and drag queens, to generate a divisive culture war issue in the run-up to the recent midterm election. For months, experts have warned that the attacks targeting the LGBTQ+ community were not only bigoted but also dangerous.

    Now in the wake of the massacre, this time at Club Q, authorities are trying to piece together a motive. However, some say one of the factors is clear: targeted online extremism and stochastic terrorism.

    Attacks against LGBTQ+ people have become a regular happening since Libs of TikTok began targeting them.

    In June, a group of men interrupted a drag queen story hour at a library in the San Francisco Bay Area fter Libs of TikTok highlighted the event to its more than 1 million followers. The men, who police believe to be part of the far-right Proud Boys, yelled anti-LGBTQ+ slurs.

    Earlier that month, a North Carolina drag queen story hour had to be canceled after organizers received threats of violence and deemed it unsafe to continue with the event.

    When someone in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, spotted a large group of men loaded into a U-Haul truck headed toward an LGBTQ+ Pride celebration in June wearing khakis and blue shirts, with baseball caps and face coverings with riot shields and other gear, he reported them, and authorities thwarted the incident. Police arrested 31 members of the white supremacist group Patriot Front during the stop.

    The gun safety advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety released a report highlighting gun violence’s effects on LGBTQ+ communities.

    The U.S. records more than 25,000 hate crimes involving firearms each year, many of which are directed at LGBTQ individuals.

    According to the report, LGBTQ+ youth are more likely to experience bias-motivated violence involving weapons than non-LGBTQ+ youth. According to research cited by Everytown for Gun Safety, 17 percent of LGBTQ+ youth have been injured or threatened by a weapon at school, compared to 6 percent of non-LGBTQ youth. In addition, about 29 percent of queer youth identify as transgender, and 30 percent of queer youth are questioning their sexuality.

    While the motivations for the mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs are unknown, it will be no shock to anybody if authorities declare the shooting a hate crime.

    In recent months, as Libs of TikTok and Gays Against Groomers have directed unwanted attention at organizations, including children’s hospitals, incidents of violence or threats of violence have increased.

    Much of this attention has acted as a catalyst for disenchanted and angry people to target LGBTQ+ communities. And the number of incidents against queer people continues to grow.

    In October, a doughnut shop in Tulsa, Okla., that had hosted an art installation featuring drag queens was attacked with a Molotov cocktail.

    In California, the Castro Valley Unified School District became the target of online attacks in September for merely painting Pride-inclusive murals on school properties.

    A former Nevada Democratic Party official who turned Republican in 2018 was arrested in October for threatening to commit a mass shooting event at an LGBTQ+ event in Las Vegas.

    Also in October, an Idaho man was arrested for allegedly yelling homophobic slurs as he attempted to run over two women with his car.

    In September, Florida police began investigating an incident of vandalism at the Pride Community Center of North Central Florida in Gainesville as a hate crime after windows were smashed and a note was left behind.

    Earlier this month, a man was indicted for a series of anti-LGBTQ+ arsons across Manhattan in August 2021.

  7. christoph says

    It might give the next shooter pause to know he may get the crap kicked out of him by a drag queen.

  8. robro says

    I assume that the shooting was a hate crime, and I could easily imagine Aldrich’s hate was enflamed by the hateful messages of media mouths like Carson et al. The Washington Post is reporting that he changed his name from Nicholas Brink when he was 16 because of online bullying.

    At age 15, he became the target of a particularly vicious bout of online bullying in which insulting accusations were posted to a website, along with his name, photos and online aliases, according to a review of the site by The Washington Post. At some point, a YouTube account was created under his name, featuring a crude, profanity-laden animation under the title, “Asian homosexual gets molested.”

    For unstated reasons, just before his 16th birthday, the young man petitioned a Texas court — with two of his grandparents’ names on the document — to legally change his entire name. His mother’s name did not appear on the petition.

    Not an excuse for what he did or what the spewers of hate continue to do, but there may be deeper trouble with this young man.

  9. cjcolucci says

    The best response to a bad man with a gun is a drag queen in spike heels.

    Maybe we can enlist them as school security. Then they can read stories to the kids on their breaks.

  10. kome says

    The hero of this story was then handcuffed by police and left alone in a squad car for over an hour as he wondered whether any of his family who were there had been injured or killed.

    All. Cops. Are. Bad.

  11. flange says

    On a gun-related note: In most of the early news reports, the gunman used a “long rifle.” The image in my mind is of a Revolutionary or Civil War flintlock, Davy Crockett-type long rifle, not an AR15, which it was.
    I’m paranoid enough to believe this smells like the NRA lobby’s work. Forcing the news media and police departments to trivialize automatic weapons, rather than promote them as the scourge they are.

  12. says

    Seeing a lot of reports that it was a trans woman, not a drag queen. PZ, could you please check on this and correct the above?

    Barring a few ‘usual suspects’ media outlets, this doesn’t at all look like a deliberate mixup, much more a ‘fog of war’ sort of thing. Mr. Fierro mostly saw spike heels happening and didn’t have a lot of time to collect information between taking down an active shooter and being arrested.

  13. unclefrogy says

    cops may not be all bad all the time but they are not the geniuses that are portrayed in fiction either
    in fact they from most of all my experiences are meat heads who like the action some may be somewhat smart but the bottom line they are not encouraged to be smart. They regularly do stupid s*** and get away with it
    The hero is lucky he had the shooter down and subdued other wise he would probably be dead by the shoot first ask questions later because it is the cops who have the monopoly on the use of force always

  14. lochaber says


    from what I’ve read so far, I’m beginning to suspect that the terrorist’s choice to wear body armor may have ironically led to him having a lower body count than otherwise.

    Trying to avoid leaning into body-shaming and stereotypes too much, but 300lbs is pretty big, even for a powerlifter, and I have my suspicions that it probably wasn’t mostly muscle in the case of this terrorist. And wearing body armor with ceramic plates in it, can really restrict your maneuverability, on top of just being heavy and cumbersome. Without that armor, he may have been able to retain his weapon, or effectively use his side arm, or any number of other scenarios that could have had a higher body count.

    Anyways, I’m glad the body count wasn’t higher, but any body count is too high. The more I read about this, the angrier I get. And I don’t know what I can do…

  15. Silentbob says

    @ 13 abbeycadabra

    I don’t know about that, but I want to mention two of the five murder victims were trans – Daniel Aston, a trans man; and Kelly Loving, a trans woman.

    Others killed were Derrick Rump, Ashley Paugh, and Raymond Vance.

    I’m very sorry. This shouldn’t be happening and it’s heartbreaking.


  16. Silentbob says

    Also, while the motive for this atrocity is not known, I would ask people to read all of raven’s on point comment @ 6, and add to that the knowledge that Club Q were going to host an all ages drag event to mark Transgender Day of Remembrance – 20th November, the day after the evening of the shooting.

    This is why we don’t tolerate transphobia. This is why we don’t brush it off as “free speech”. This is why we condemn it from anyone, anytime. Even if it’s FtB bloggers. Even if it’s long time FtB commenters. Even if it’s formerly beloved children’s book authors. Because this is where that shit always leads. Inevitably.