According to recent reports, the discovery of a body in a Colorado amusement park has left many people puzzled. The deceased individual was found with a semi-automatic rifle close by and a handgun next to him. The man’s older brother has come forward to offer insight into the situation, describing his younger sibling as a recluse who spent his nights playing video games. It remains unclear what led to the man’s death and the presence of the weapons at the scene.
According to the Garfield County Coroner’s Office, the body of Diego Barajas Medina, a 20-year-old man, was discovered in a women’s restroom before the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park opened on Saturday. In an exclusive interview, his brother David Barajas Medina, 27, shared that Diego was a reserved individual who didn’t communicate much with his family. “He was a quiet person,” David stated.
David and Diego resided with their mother in a cozy two-bedroom apartment located in Carbondale, which was approximately 14 miles away from the amusement park. The brothers shared a room that they called their own.
According to David, his friend had always aspired to become a police officer, which is why he owned guns and even a vest.
According to David, there was a box underneath Diego’s bed that could have contained the firearms that were discovered by the authorities. The sheriff stated that these weapons were probably illegal and unregistered ghost guns, which can be easily made at home using 3D printers and kits. David expressed confusion about what his brother might have been thinking.
“He didn’t strike me as someone who posed a threat,” he commented.
Man had no connection to the park
Investigators are currently attempting to determine the motives behind Diego’s decision to arrive at the park carrying a rifle, which was reportedly similar in appearance to an AR-15, a handgun, which was allegedly used to take his own life, and explosives, all prior to business hours. According to authorities, Diego was dressed in dark clothing resembling that of police tactical officers.
During a news conference on Monday, Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario stated that despite being well-equipped and ready for action, the individual in question opted to take his own life.
The recent tragedy at a family-friendly venue in Colorado has left the nation, especially those who are still recovering from the mass shooting in Lewiston, Maine, where 18 lives were taken, feeling uneasy. It’s troubling to see that the use of a similar semi-automatic rifle was involved once again. Sadly, Colorado has a lengthy history of mass shootings that dates back to 1999 at Columbine High School.
According to documents from Garfield County, the amusement park sits at an impressive altitude of 7,100 feet and has the capacity to host 1,551 visitors. Glenwood Springs, a charming city of approximately 10,000 people located 120 miles west of Denver in the Rocky Mountains, is where this exciting park can be found. The amusement park offers a variety of exhilarating rides, and visitors may also take guided tours of the caves beneath Iron Mountain.
According to a statement released by Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, the man who entered their premises was not authorized to do so as the venue is surrounded by state land, and he had trespassed.
According to the Sheriff’s spokesperson, Walt Stowe, on Tuesday, the individual in question was able to navigate his vehicle up a secluded back road that is typically reserved for maintenance traffic within the park.
According to him, the road was nothing more than a dirt path that received very little, if any, maintenance.
As of Tuesday, it remains unclear how Diego came to know about the road in question. According to David, his brother had no affiliation with the park.
‘I’m not sure what he was setting out to do’
On Monday, Vallario reported that false hand grenades were discovered in close vicinity to Diego’s body during the investigation.
According to authorities, Diego was equipped with a ballistic vest and helmet, and had multiple magazines of ammunition. The emblems and patches on his dark clothing gave the impression that he was affiliated with law enforcement, as stated by the sheriff’s office in a statement released on Monday.
According to Vallario, the individual in question failed to follow through with their intention, regardless of what it may have been.
According to David, he doesn’t think that Diego had any malicious intentions. Apparently, Diego left his phone in the room that they shared, and David believes that he did so deliberately, hoping that someone would find it. However, the phone was locked, so David is unsure of what was on it. The phone, like the box, was taken by investigators.
According to David, Diego had been struggling to make ends meet since losing his job at Family Dollar a year ago. He had turned to flipping items on Amazon to make a living, but unfortunately, he had fallen behind on rent payments.
According to David, the news of Saturday’s discovery was shocking, despite the possibility that the individual in question was suffering from depression.
“He had a goal in mind, but I’m not entirely certain what it was,” he remarked.
Diego was characterized as a gamer who preferred to play during the night. As per his description, he used to sleep at 6 a.m. every day and spend his nights playing Call of Duty.
David, however, shared that the person in question appeared to be just like any other individual. Despite this, when recounting the individual’s passing, David used the word “weird” to describe the situation, indicating that he found it to be unusual or unexpected.
According to Stowe, the sheriff’s office will be carrying out a thorough and systematic investigation to uncover the man’s background and potential motive. This suggests that the investigation may take some time to complete and even then, the conclusion may be speculative.
Vallario stated on Monday that Diego had managed to stay completely under the radar, with no indication of any warning or concern.
Diego’s potential for causing destruction at the adventure park weighed heavily on his mind. He couldn’t help but imagine all the chaos that could have ensued had Diego not been stopped. As he reflected on the situation, he realized just how fortunate they were to have prevented a disaster.
He expressed that the situation could have been catastrophic.
Upon discovering Diego’s body, investigators also came across some writing on a bathroom wall nearby. As of Tuesday, the meaning behind the message and whether it was written by Diego himself remained unclear.
According to Vallario, the written message expressed, “I have no intention of taking anyone’s life. My only desire was to explore the caves.”
Deon J. Hampton provided coverage from Carbondale, while Minyvonne Burke reported from Pittsburgh and Dennis Romero reported from San Diego, according to the latest updates.
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As a national reporter for NBC News, Deon J. Hampton brings a wealth of experience to his role. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for uncovering stories that matter, he has made a name for himself as a top-tier journalist. His dedication to his craft and his commitment to bringing the truth to light have earned him the respect of his peers and the admiration of his readers. Whether he’s reporting on breaking news or delving deep into investigative journalism, Deon is always striving to deliver the highest quality content to his audience.
As a seasoned breaking news reporter for NBC News, Minyvonne Burke has extensive experience in delivering the latest news stories with accuracy and professionalism. Her ability to provide concise and informative updates has made her a valuable asset to the NBC News team. With her dedication to the craft of journalism, Minyvonne is committed to bringing her readers the most up-to-date and relevant news stories of the day.
A journalist named Dennis Romero is responsible for reporting breaking news for NBC News Digital.