Richard and Jessica Fierro have been celebrated for years for their award-winning beers and creating Colorado’s first Latin-owned brewery to be led by a female head brewer, Atrevida Beer Co.
On Nov.20, they and some of their employees went out to Club Q in Colorado Springs for a “fun night out” that ended in tragedy.
The Fierros, along with their daughter Kassy, who also works at their brewery, and her 22-year-old boyfriend Raymond Green Vance, were at the gay nightclub celebrating a friend’s birthday when a gunman entered.He killed five people , including Vance, whom the family had known since their daughter was in high school.Dozens of others were injured, including those in Fierros’ group.
“It was absolute havoc,” Jessica Fierro wrote on Atrevida’s Instagram page.”It was terrifying.
Kassy broke her knee as she was running for cover.
Our best friends were both shot multiple times.
I bruised the right side of my body and Rich injured both his hands, knees and ankle as he apprehended the shooter.He was covered in blood.”
Richard Fierro has been hailed a hero amid the horror, as he and another man helped subdue the shooter .A U.S.
Army veteran who served four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, Richard Fierro said he stepped in after his military reflexes kicked in.
“I wasn’t thinking.I just ran over there,” he said.
“(I thought), ‘I’ve got to kill this guy.He’s going to kill my kid.He’s going to kill my wife.’ …
It’s just the reflex: ‘Go.
Go to the fight.Stop the action .Stop the activity.Don’t let no one get hurt.'”
Along with helping him save the lives of the dozens of other people who were at the venue during the incident, his military training is also what contributed to the development of he and his wife’s business.
The couple had discovered their passion for brewing while Rich was stationed in Germany , the couple says on the beer company’s website.
Their brewery, whose name means “bold, daring, audacious woman,” according to their website, was built by Jessica, who embodies exactly that.Along with being military spouse during her husband’s 15 years in the U.S.Army and being a mom of two, she is praised on the Atrevida website for being a force of strength and creativity.
That strength translates into everything they do at the brewery, from who they hire to their motto of “Diversity, it’s on tap!” – a phrase that is on many of its products.Four out of their six employees are women and four out of six are Latino.
Their message, history and endurance, on top of Richard Fierro’s actions at Club Q , ignited a fierce wave of support for their business in the few days since the shooting.
Meena Harris, the niece of Vice President Kamala Harris, directed people to the business’s merchandise, much of which debuts their motto.
Author and journalist Molly Knight also directed people to their merch, asking her more than 136,000 followers to help ” crash their website ” – by buying all their available online products.
Fierro is a hero,” chef José Andrés, the founder of nonprofit World Central Kitchen, tweeted.”Risk his life to safe the lives of others.With his bare hands! His daughters boyfriend died in the shooting….Let’s show the respect he deserves… let’s support their beer .”
For the Fierros, the support comes at a time of heavy loss.
Jessica said on the business’s Instagram page that “everyone is recovering,” but that their family, like many others, is “scarred.”
“NO ONE should ever have to witness bloodshed like this,” she wrote.”…We are going through a lot of emotions as a family and as a brewery.The loss of lives and the injured are in our hearts.We are devastated and torn.We love our #lgbtq community and stand with them.This cowardly and despicable act of hate has no room in our lives or business.
F*** HATE.It has left us and our community scarred but not broken.”
Their daughter Kassy has posted her own tribute to her boyfriend, whom she appears to have been dating since high school.Her social media shows that she graduated in 2018.
“I’ll never be able to heal from this.i want to wake up from this horrendous nightmare.i pray u hear me when i call for you.im so sorry.
ill never forgive myself for taking everyone there,” she wrote on Instagram.”…u gave me the best 5 years and four months.my sweet love, i will never forget u.”
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