DENVER — New information has emerged since a 37-year-old man fired more than 100 rounds in his suburban Denver apartment on sheriff’s deputies, killing one and injuring four others. Two civilians were also shot.
The Douglas County coroner has identified the suspect as Matthew Riehl.
Since then, reporters discovered a YouTube user named Matthew Riehl had posted a video rant on Dec. 13, saying he wanted to replace Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock. In the profanity-ridden video, called “Fire Sheriff Spurlock,” Riehl claimed that he would run for office as a libertarian and vowed to “fire all these bums come early next year.”
The incident began around 5:15 a.m. at an apartment complex in Highland Ranch, 16 miles south of Denver.
According to a report from Channel 10, authorities had left the home barely an hour earlier in response to a complaint of a “verbal disturbance” involving two men, the sheriff’s office said. One of the men told them the suspect “was acting bizarre and might be having a mental breakdown” but the deputies found no evidence of a crime.
Deputies were called back to the scene and granted permission to enter the apartment so they could confront the suspect, who was “making a ton of noise and annoying everyone around him,” Spurlock said. That’s when Riehl started shooting.
“They all went down almost within seconds of each other, so it was more of an ambush-type of attack on our officers,” Spurlock recalled. “He knew we were coming and we obviously let him know that we were there.”
Four officers were shot from a bedroom around 6 a.m., forcing a retreat. A SWAT team entered the apartment 90 minutes later in an exchange of gunfire that left the gunman dead and another officer injured.
“I couldn’t believe this was happening in our backyard,” said neighbor Vira Cover, who lives in a building about 50 yards away from the shooting.
The suspect was well-known to authorities in the Denver area but had no criminal record, said Spurlock.
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
Deputy Zackari Parrish, 29, was killed by the shooter. He was a married father of two young children and had only been working for the department for seven months. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the slain officer’s family. Officials with GoFundMe confirmed to CBS Denver that they are working with the organizer, Tyler Scott, and all the money will go to the family.
“His wife told me today that he loved this job more than he had loved any job he ever had,” the sheriff said.
The three deputies and one police officer injured were listed in stable condition. The two civilians injured did not have life-threatening injuries.
President Trump responded to the tragedy, tweeting his condolences:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2017