U.S. Navy sailor Thomas James hospitalized after Club Q shooting

Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite
Photos of Kelly Loving (left to right), Derrick Rump, Ashley Paugh, Raymond Green Vance and Daniel Aston stand above a memorial outside of Colorado Springs’ Club Q. Nov. 22, 2022.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include a statement from Thomas James.

The U.S. Navy confirmed on Tuesday that Thomas James, an information systems technician second class, was hospitalized “in stable condition” after the deadly shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs.

Navy officials did not disclose further details of how James was injured, but a press release said they “remain hopeful [James] will make a full recovery.”

In a statement released on Sunday by Centura Penrose Hospital, James said, "Thankfully, we are family, and family looks after one another. We came a long way from Stonewall. Bullies aren’t invincible."

"I simply wanted to save the family I found," James continued. "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."

Someone named Thomas James helped to stop the shooter in the attack, according to Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez. But it is unclear whether that is the same individual as the injured Navy sailor. 

A spokesperson for the Navy referred a reporter to local authorities, citing the ongoing investigation. A representative for the Colorado Springs Police Department would not provide further detail.

The attack happened late on Saturday night at the LGBTQ nightclub. The shooter, wearing body armor and armed with a long rifle, fatally shot five people and wounded another 17, while an additional person was injured while fleeing, according to local law enforcement.

Authorities also credited Richard Fierro, a U.S. Army veteran, with stopping the attacker. 

Fierro told The New York Times that he grabbed a handle on the back of the shooter’s body armor, pulled the suspect down to the floor and jumped on the suspect. Fierro then grabbed a pistol from the shooter’s hand and beat the attacker’s head bloody with it, the Times reported.

Meanwhile, Fierro, returning to his combat training, “yelled for another club patron, using a string of expletives, to grab the rifle then told the patron to start kicking" the alleged shooter in the face and then ordered another person to “stomp the attacker with her high heels,” the Times reported.

It’s unclear whether James was one of the people Fierro instructed to help subdue the shooter. Local leaders have given few other details about what Fierro and James did.

More Club Q Coverage


  • Colorado Crisis Services hotline: Call 1-844-493-8255 or text "TALK" to 38255 to speak with a trained counselor or professional. Counselors are also available at walk-in locations or online to chat between 4 p.m. and 12 a.m.
  • A list of mental health providers offering therapy for those impacted. Many are providing sessions free or at a reduced charge.
  • Diversus Health: Offers a 24/7 walk-in crisis center for crisis services and counseling for all ages, regardless of ability to pay. You can request an appointment here or visit 115 S. Parkside Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80910.
  • Peak View Behavioral Health Assessment team: 719-444-8484 or www.peakviewbh.com.
  • Inside Out Youth Services: provides support and resources for LGBTQ youth and are coordinating vigils for people to gather.