A 45-year-old man who served in the army for nearly 15 years and had four combat deployments as an Army officer told the New York Times he "went into combat mode" when tackling the gunman in the Colorado Springs Club Q shooting.
Richard M. Fierro said he was at a table in Club Q with his wife, daughter and friends Saturday, watching a drag show when the gunfire erupted.
"I don't know exactly what I did, I just went into combat mode," Fierro told the Times. "I just know I have to kill this guy before he kills us."
According to the Times, Fierro said that as bullets sprayed, he saw the gunman move toward a door leading to a patio.
Fierro said he raced across the room and grabbed the gunman by a handle on the back of his body armor, pulled him to the floor and jumped on him, the report said.
"Was he shooting at the time? Was he about to shoot? I don't know," Fierro said in the interview. "I just knew I had to take him down."
"I grabbed the gun out of his hand and just started hitting him in the head, over and over," Fierro added.
CNN has reached out to Fierro for comment.
According to the Times, Fierro's daughter and wife are at home and still recovering from injuries.
Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said he had the opportunity to talk to Fierro. The mayor said the veteran had “saved a lot of lives" by tackling the suspect.
“I have never encountered a person who had engaged in such heroic actions that was so humble about it. He simply said to me, 'I was trying to protect my family,'” Suthers said at a news conference Monday.