by Terresa Monroe-Hamilton | January 2, 2018 2:20 pm
By now you’ve undoubtedly heard the story that five Colorado deputies, one being the son of a sheriff, were fired upon after answering a verbal disturbance call between two roommates very early in the morning. Four of the officers who had been shot are in stable condition while one, Zachari Parrish, a 29 year-old father of two, died as the result of his wounds.
At the time, the police had neutralized the man responsible for unloading well over 100 rounds, but did not release his identity or any motive behind the seemingly unprovoked attack. One day later, however, the reason for his murderous rampage was made disturbingly clear.
Douglas County Coroner confirms shooting suspect in #CopperCanyonOIS as Matthew Riehl DOB 9/09/80 (pictured). Investigation still ongoing and being investigated by @DA18th Critical Response Team. pic.twitter.com/H6wT0klSQv
— DC Sheriff (@dcsheriff) January 1, 2018
The shooter has been identified at 37 year-old Matthew Riehl, an Iraq war veteran and a critic of Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock. Riehl made a series of YouTube videos in which he called Spurlock a “clown” and threatened to run against him. He also called him a “pimp.”
Riehl went on to claim that he was being harassed by the police, his proof being a videotape of a traffic stop that he said was “illegal.” In that video, he called the officer a “dirtbag,” a “liar” and a “Nazi in charge with the stripes on his shoulder and the fake badge.”
The officers were actually at the apartment hours before the shooting took place to address a noise complaint. While they were there, they were told that Riehl was “acting bizarre and might be having a mental breakdown.” They concluded that no crime had been committed and were forced to leave the apartment. They returned hours later as the result of yet another call and this time they found themselves being shot at.
It was clear that this man had severe mental problems, as well as issues with authority. He targeted the officers because he didn’t believe that they were acting legally or honorably, and he viewed them as no better than “Nazis.” Can we think of who else has problems with police officers and targets them for murder?
Weeks before the shooting occurred, Riehl left alarming messages on social media as well. They included threats to police officers. Several law enforcement agencies had been aware weeks beforehand that Riehl was accused of writing harassing or suspicious messages online, officials said this week. That includes “harassing posts” that Riehl put on his social media sites in November about a traffic stop in the Denver suburb of Lone Tree, just a few miles east of his apartment in Highlands Ranch, said Lone Tree spokeswoman Denisse Coffman. Shortly after those posts, Riehl allegedly sent harassing emails to Lone Tree police officers, Coffman said. “At that point, the Lone Tree Police Department immediately contacted the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office to investigate, given that a Lone Tree police officer was being targeted by the suspect’s harassing communication,” Coffman said.
And his problems go even further back and should have raised red flags. According to CNN, in late 2017, the University of Wyoming — where Riehl was a 2010 law school graduate — alerted students and faculty to what it called his suspicious behavior. According to a letter sent to faculty and staff in November, Riehl posted “rambling, nonsensical messages on his Facebook page” that mentioned the school. Campus police and the Laramie Police Department were both alerted to the posts. The faculty was asked to alert authorities if Riehl was spotted on campus. Chad Baldwin, associate vice president for communications and marketing at the university, told CNN the posts were “outrageous, vulgar and alarming.” Baldwin said the university heightened security on campus, but there were no reported sightings of Riehl in the area.
Certain media sources such as Newsweek are claiming this guy was Alt-Right and that he had pictures of Pepe the Frog on his Facebook page. That page has since been taken down and I have no idea if what they say is true or not. Newsweek made a big deal of him quoting Brietbart, which again does not brand you as Alt-Right. Not the way they mean it. They are relating it to white supremacy. They also stressed he had weapons training. These people just won’t give it a rest. The guy was unstable and violent. That does not mean the right is to blame for it.
The fact that this scumbag is dead brings me great happiness. There is absolutely no way that this could have ended with him giving himself up peacefully. I believe that this was suicide by cop, but he was going to try to take as many with him as he could.
My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the fallen officer and with all of those who were injured by this monster. There is no excuse for what he did and the officer’s death is a tragic loss of life. I hope that everyone involved can find peace and can move forward.
The memorial at our substation showing community support is amazing! We are so grateful for the support. Thank you everyone! #CopperCanyonOIS pic.twitter.com/w3yeNAqS4x
— DC Sheriff (@dcsheriff) January 1, 2018
DCSO Motorcade for our fallen Deputy #CopperCanyonOIS https://t.co/uU618Xw1qp
— DC Sheriff (@dcsheriff) December 31, 2017
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