Chilling Note Left Next to Armed Man Found Dead at Amusement Park: Cops

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

A Colorado man was found dead at a popular amusement park before it opened Saturday, draped in tactical gear and armed with bombs, a rifle, and a pistol, the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office said Monday.

Few details about the man and his motive for carrying the weapons into Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park were disclosed by authorities on Monday. He was later identified by the Associated Press and USA Today as 20-year-old Diego Barajas Medina from nearby Carbondale.

In a statement to the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, the park’s spokesperson, Tassi Herrick, said the local coroner determined that Medina had killed himself. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Garfield County coroner Robert Glassmire told the Associated Press.

Cops in Colorado say Medina drove near the park, which is located on a mountain above Glenwood Springs, while it was closed. His intentions were unclear, but the sheriff’s office said in a statement that he possessed the firepower to have carried out “an attack of devastating proportions.”

Medina was dressed in black tactical clothing with body armor and a ballistic helmet, cops said, adding that he wore patches and emblems that made it appear he was a law enforcement officer.

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The sheriff’s office and Glenwood Caverns did not return calls from The Daily Beast seeking more details.

Speaking to the Associated Press, authorities said Medina had killed himself rather than carry out a brutal attack, with a chilling note found in the process. His body was discovered in a women’s bathroom by a maintenance crew “next to words scrawled on the wall,” the AP reported, citing authorities.

The message read, “I am not a killer, I just wanted to get into the caves,” Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario said, though he would not confirm it was written by Medina.

Found with the body was a semi-automatic rifle, a semi-automatic handgun, and extra magazines for the weapons. Deputies also discovered multiple improvised explosive devices with the body and in his vehicle. Some were real while others were fake, Vallario said, but did not go into details. The weapons found on Medina were ghost guns; unregulated firearms that do not have serial numbers and cause problems for tracing.

There were no prior warnings or indications that Medina could carry out such an attack, Vallario added, but noted that police would be conducting further interviews.

“Given the preparation, given the amount of weapons and ordinance he had, it almost seemed very highly likely he intended to use those against the community. He chose not to,” Vallario said.

Park officials closed the attraction Saturday and had not reopened it by Monday afternoon, cops said. A bomb squad and other first responders were still combing the property to ensure its caverns were safe for the public to visit again.

Nobody was injured at the park, which is about 150 miles southwest of Denver and is famous for being the “the only mountaintop theme park in America.”

The park’s general manager, Nancy Heard, told the Post Independent that the incident was “very sad and tragic.”

The chilling discovery of Medina’s body came less than a week after 18 people were shot dead in Maine—the state’s deadliest mass shooting in its history.

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