• Thu. Nov 24th, 2022

Like Richard Fierro in Colorado Springs, data shows that 64 unarmed civilians have arrested the gunman in mass shootings since 2000

ByKarla E. Kowalski

Nov 24, 2022

Richard Fierro in a black sweatshirt looking down

Richard Fierro overpowered the gunman in Saturday’s fatal shooting at Club Q.AP Photo/Jack Dempsey

  • Army veteran Richard Fierro arrested the shooter in the Colorado Springs shooting last week.

  • He now joins a small group of unarmed civilians who stopped gunmen before police arrived.

  • One expert said the chances of a civilian finishing off an attacker are just over 10 percent.

When news broke of how Army veteran Richard Fierro arrested the gunman responsible for the mass shooting at Q, the LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, Colorado, he was hailed as a hero and even received a phone call from President Joe Biden.

The Army veteran had been sitting at a table in the club with his wife and daughter on Saturday night, November 19, when a gunman entered and opened fire, killing five people and injuring eighteen. After hearing gunshots, Fierro ran straight at the gunman, now identified as 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich, pulled him down and hit him with his own gun before police arrived at the scene.

“I don’t know exactly what I did, I just went into fight mode,” he told the New York Times in an interview. “All I know is that I have to kill this guy before he kills us.”

What Fierro did that night put him in a group of unarmed civilians who have successfully apprehended gunmen in mass shootings. According to the New York Times, published in June, between 2000 and 2021 there were 433 situations in which a bystander confronted an active shooter in the country. Of those attacks, 249 ended before police arrived at the scene, and the bystander successfully subdued the shooter in 64 cases. As a result, Fierro, like the more than 50 civilians who came before him, was able to stop the gunman and save lives without a weapon.

The data was compiled by Texas State University’s Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Center, working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). According to ALERRT Research Director Hunter Martaindale, the chances of a civilian killing an attacker are just over 10%. In fact, the Department of Homeland Security recommends that civilians attempt to take out a shooter when they are around, as Fierro did. However, if a civilian is armed, then the situation is much more complicated.

“There are many incidents where people are armed, but pulling out that gun and shooting at that moment could do more damage,” he told Slate in an interview.

So far this year, the US has recorded 609 shootings with multiple victims – almost double the number five years ago.

Read the original article on Business Insider