Thomas James, Navy sailor credited with disarming Colorado Springs shooting suspect, says he "wanted to save the family that I found"

A member of the U.S. Navy who was injured while helping prevent further harm during a shooting at a gay nightclub in Colorado last weekend said Sunday that he “simply wanted to save the family that I found.”

Petty Officer 2nd Class Thomas James made his first public comments on the shooting in a statement issued through Centura Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs, where James is recovering from undisclosed injuries suffered during the attack.

Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez said that James was one of two men who helped to stop the shooter who walked into Club Q late on Nov. 19 with multiple firearms, including a semiautomatic rifle, and killed five people. At least 17 others were injured when a drag queen’s birthday celebration turned into a massacre.

James reportedly pushed a rifle out of the shooter’s reach while Army veteran Rich Fierro repeatedly struck the shooter with a handgun the shooter brought into the bar, officials have said.

“If I had my way, I would shield everyone I could from the nonsensical acts of hate in the world, but I am only one person,” James said in a statement. “Thankfully, we are a family and family looks after one another.”

Patrons of Club Q have said the bar offered them a community where they felt celebrated, but that the shooting shook their sense of safety.

The shooting suspect — Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22 — was visibly injured during his initial court appearance on Wednesday. He was ordered held without bail. Formal charges have not been filed and Aldrich has not spoken about the shooting.

“I want to support everyone who has known the pain and loss that have been all too common these past few years,” James said. “My thoughts are with those we lost on Nov. 19, and those who are still recovering from their injuries.”

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, the first openly gay man elected governor in the United States, appeared on “Face the Nation” on Sunday and said he would support increasing licensing requirements for semiautomatic weapons, improving mental health services and better use of red flag laws that allow courts to remove weapons from people having mental health crises and who may be a danger to themselves and others. He also urged the toning down of anti-LGBTQ political rhetoric.

“We need to pursue the anti-LGBTQ rhetoric aspect if this, I think whether it will be the case in this case or not, clearly the kind of rhetoric out there that divides one group of Americans against the other can send somebody over the top and tragically inspire them to an act of violence,” he told “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan. “We need to focus on national healing, bringing people together, and really treating one another as brothers and sisters.”

James ended the statement by urging young members of the LGBTQ community to be brave.

“Your family is out there. You are loved and valued,” James said. “So when you come out of the closet, come out swinging.”

You May Also Like

Montana Man Charged With Shooting 2 Teens in the Head, Trying to Rape One of Them

A Montana man has been charged with attempted murder and attempted rape…

SR-436 back open after crash cleared in Altamonte Springs, FDOT says

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. – A crash that had all lanes of State…

Global cyber infrastructure leader and defense contractor expands Augusta footprint

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — FORTUNE 500 company Leidos is lending its expertise…

Musk Escapes Liability in Lawsuit over Tesla ‘Funding Secured’ Tweet

Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently won a lawsuit brought against him by…

In Tyre Nichols’ neighborhood, Black residents fear police

MEMPHIS – In a terrible way, the death of Tyre Nichols brings…

Eunice Dwumfour: New Jersey City Official Gunned Down Outside Home

A local New Jersey public official was gunned down this week outside…

Huddersfield Town's strange low-key drift leaves ultimate direction of travel uncertain

The Terriers and their fans alike all seemed uncertain of what to…

Huddersfield mum told her pet American Bulldog would be 'chopped up' if she didn't pay ransom

Confidence tricksters made vile threats but they never had the pet

Putin promised not to kill Zelenskyy

TEL AVIV – A former Israeli prime minister who served briefly as…

One Suspect Dead, Florida Trooper Shot In Pasco County Saturday

Source: FHP WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. – One man was killed, and a…

Black History Month celebration kicks off February with art and poetry

The event saw collaboration between Black artists and organizations to commemorate Black…

Steven Schumacher points finger at Sheffield Wednesday star Josh Windass after Cooper injury

Plymouth Argyle boss Steven Schumacher was unhappy with the part Sheffield Wednesday…