YouTube [CBS Colorado]

A veteran who was instrumental in taking down the gunman in the Club Q shooting has spoken out about the tragedy in Colorado Springs.

Richard Fierro, 45, had spent four deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan before leaving the army in 2013.

He served for 15 years.

When the suspect, named by police as Anderson Lee Aldrich, opened fire, the former soldier jumped into action.

“I don’t know exactly what I did, I just went into combat mode,” he said in an interview with the New York Times.

“Was he shooting at the time? Was he about to shoot? I don’t know … I just knew I had to take him down.”

Fierro disarmed the suspect and attacked him with his bare hands.

He recounted being assisted by other bar patrons, including some who stamped on him in high heels.

The 45-year-old, who now owns a brewery, was attending the bar to celebrate his daughter Kassy’s birthday. It has been reported that this was his first time at a drag show:

Her boyfriend, 22-year-old Raymond Green Vance, was one of the five killed in the attack.

Raymond had recently got a new job, and was looking forward to saving up for an apartment, according to family and friends.

Kassy shared an Instagram picture of the couple after his death was confirmed:

“in ur arms was the only place i ever felt safe. u are my home. my heart. my everything. u changed my life. u made life worth living. u made me the happiest i ever been. laugh the hardest i ever have. meeting u was the best thing to ever happen to me,” she captioned it.

Officials have stated that Fierro’s actions were crucial in preventing further deaths, as he stopped the gunman before he could begin shooting in the bar’s outdoor patio, where terrified patrons had fled to.