Loaded for bear, the body of a man discovered at a Colorado amusement park with firearms and explosives shook the local community.
“…it was definitely the realization that this type of danger has come to quiet Glennwood Springs, Colorado, rural Colorado, rural America.”
(Video: CBS Colorado)
Shuttered over the weekend, the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Carbondale, Colorado had become a crime scene Saturday morning after the body of a young man was discovered dead in a women’s restroom. Believed to have committed suicide with a self-inflicted gun wound, a statement from the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office explained why Diego Barajas Medina’s death triggered a methodical search by the bomb squad and All Hazard Response Team.
“He was dressed in black colored tactical clothing, bearing patches and emblems that gave the appearance of being associated with law enforcement. The suspect had been heavily armed with a semi-automatic rifle and semi-automatic handgun and multiple, loaded magazines for both weapons,” the Monday press release disclosed. “He was wearing body armor and what appeared to be a ballistic helmet. Additionally multiple improvised explosive devices, (IEDs), were discovered with the suspect and in a vehicle associated with the suspect.”
— GarCo Sheriff (@GarcoSheriffCO) October 30, 2023
Furthermore, a report indicated that he had fake hand grenades and pipe bombs as well as real explosives, the sheriff’s office explained, “The deceased had been located prior to the park opening to the public and was not released to any of the rides or exhibits at the park. Based upon preliminary investigation it appeared that the suspect illegally entered the park after hours, when no employees or patrons were present.”
While out of town, Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario provided an audio statement and remarked, “I can tell you that when I first saw this, it was definitely the realization that this type of danger has come to quiet Glennwood Springs, Colorado, rural Colorado, rural America.”
However, a message said to have been scrawled on the wall near the decedent that read, “I am not a killer. I just wanted to get into the caves,” added further mystery to the potential motive of the young man who was said to have used a service road to access the park after it had closed Friday night.
“Fortunately, for whatever reason we may never know, although he was very highly prepared, very highly weaponized, he chose not to take advantage of any of that…he chose instead, as we believe at this point, to commit suicide.”
Confirmed to be a 2021 graduate from the local Roaring Fork School District, acting Superintendent Anna Cole spoke to the incident in her own statement.
“In our small communities, everyone is connected. This tragedy will impact our school community significantly. We are responding to the news of this incident by providing wrap around support services to students, staff and families in need,” said Cole. “In the Roaring Fork Schools, the safety of our students and staff is our top priority. We are deeply committed to investing in and implementing best practices in school safety. This includes prevention education, community collaboration, crisis response drills, and secure schools and facilities.”
The discovery of the young man’s body marked the second death at the amusement park in two years after a six-year-old girl had tragically to her death in Sept. 2021 when she had not been properly secured aboard the Haunted Mine Drop ride.
— BPR (@BIZPACReview) September 26, 2021
As for Medina, after conducting interviews Vallario said of the young man who lived with his mother and brother, “There was nothing to indicate any type of warning or any type of concern on the part of family, friends.”
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