Dead man found with explosives, guns at Colorado adventure park: Sheriff

ByAlex Stone and Ivan Pereira ABCNews logo
Monday, October 30, 2023
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Colorado authorities said they are investigating the discovery of a dead body inside an adventure park over the weekend that was armed with explosives, guns and ammunition.

Investigators said the dead man, who is only being identified as a 20-year-old, took his own life, the Garfield County Sheriff's Office said.

The sheriff's office said they received a report Saturday of a dead body found at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, which is slated to open for the new season next month. Park officials said in a statement that the body was discovered during the park's "extensive pre-opening maintenance and security inspections."

Officers said they found the dead body inside a ladies room in the park dressed in black tactical gear that bore "patches and emblems that gave the appearance of being associated with law enforcement," body armor and "what appeared to be a ballistic helmet," according to a statement from the sheriff's office.

The man was armed with a semi-automatic rifle and semi-automatic handgun, several loaded magazines and multiple improvised explosive devices "were discovered with the suspect and in a vehicle associated with the suspect," the sheriff's office said.

"While this investigation is still ongoing and very active it is important to realize that given the amount of weaponry, ammunition and explosive devices found, the suspect could have implemented an attack of devastating proportions upon our community and first responders," the sheriff's office said in a statement.

The Grand Junction, Colorado, Bomb Squad arrived at the scene and ensured the IEDs were safe, the sheriff's office said. Not all of the explosives were real, investigators said.

A sweep of the park determined that there were no other devices, according to the sheriff's office.

Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario told reporters that while the investigation is ongoing, it appeared the man took his own life instead of committing mass murder.

A message stating "I am not a killer," was found written on the stall in the restroom where the dead body was found, Vallario said.

"Our investigation has so far indicated that nobody in the public was at risk. It would appear that the suspect's actions were limited to the property of the Glenwood Caverns," the sheriff's office said in a statement.

It is unknown how long the dead body had been in the park.

The sheriff's office said the deceased man was a previous high school student who was "not on their radar at all." They have searched his home, which he shared with his mother and brother, and are going through his devices, social media and speaking with teachers and classmates, investigators said.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park general manager Nancy Heard said the park officials appreciated the thoroughness of the first responders in a statement.

"This very sad and tragic incident reminds us how much our Glenwood Springs community means to us," Heard said in a statement.

The park is currently closed as it transitions from its summer to winter season. according to park officials.

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