Over the weekend, law enforcement officials in Colorado reported that they are investigating the discovery of a deceased “heavily armed” man at an amusement park. The man was found wearing body armor and had multiple improvised explosive devices on his person.
According to the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, the employees of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park alerted the authorities after discovering the body of a 20-year-old man on Saturday morning, before the park had opened. The body was found in the park premises as reported by their official Facebook page.
Diego Barajas Medina was identified by authorities on Monday evening.
Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the park is situated in the charming resort city of Glenwood Springs. The city is enveloped by the breathtaking White River National Forest, adding to the park’s natural allure.
According to USA TODAY, the death of Medina is being investigated as a potential suicide, as confirmed by Walt Stowe, a representative from the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.
On Monday, Stowe reassured that the community is not currently at risk.
The cause of Medina’s death has not been disclosed by the agency. However, their official statement confirms that it was not connected to any of the rides and that he was not permitted to be present inside the park.
Dressed in black tactical clothing adorned with emblems resembling those of law enforcement
In a news release on Monday, police reported that Medina, who hailed from the Carbondale region, was discovered dead, clad in black tactical attire. The clothing had patches and emblems that made it seem as though he had ties to law enforcement according to a preliminary investigation.
According to the release, the suspect was carrying a semi-automatic rifle, a semi-automatic handgun, and several loaded magazines for each weapon. During a press conference held by Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario on Monday afternoon, he stated that the firearms used were believed to be “ghost guns.”
During the incident, it was reported that Medina was wearing body armor and a ballistic helmet. Authorities also discovered several improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in his possession and in a vehicle linked to him which was found at the park. However, Sheriff Vallario clarified in a press conference that some of the items believed to be explosive devices were actually fake.
According to the release, the park was the site of a bomb scare and a bomb squad was called in to investigate. Fortunately, the squad was able to safely neutralize the devices, ensuring the safety of everyone in the area.
The Garfield County All Hazard response team, along with the bomb squad members, thoroughly searched the park to ensure that there were no other improvised explosive devices (IEDs) planted in the vicinity. Their rigorous efforts aimed to provide a safe and secure environment for everyone in the area.
As per the authorities, the current investigation suggests that Medina’s actions were confined to the premises of the Glenwood Caverns.
According to the social media platform, Facebook, the agency has released the subsequent statement:
In order to guarantee the safety of the public and first responders, the first two days of the investigation were conducted meticulously and at a steady pace. This involved thoroughly searching the suspect’s residence as well as the property, in order to determine the extent of their criminal activity. Ensuring the safety of everyone involved in the operation was of the utmost importance, particularly those involved in bomb disposal. Once the cabins were deemed safe, they were reopened.
According to the police, the sheer amount of weapons, ammunition, and explosive devices discovered in Medina’s possession was enough to cause a catastrophic attack on our community and emergency responders. The potential danger posed by this arsenal cannot be overstated, and it is truly terrifying to consider the kind of destruction that could have been unleashed. The police deserve our gratitude for their diligent work in preventing what could have been a devastating tragedy.
According to the release, the Garfield County coroner will be responsible for determining the official cause of Medina’s death.
The coroner’s office has been contacted by USA TODAY for further information.
As per a spokesperson from the park, Medina entered the property without permission when there were no employees or visitors present.
According to USA TODAY, General Manager Nancy Heard expressed her sadness and the significance of the Glenwood Springs community in the wake of a tragic incident. She also commended the swift response and thorough efforts of the Garfield County Sheriff’s Department and Coroner’s Office, along with the Garfield County All Hazard Response Team and other authorities involved in the investigation. Their collaboration ensured the safety of the park, allowing it to reopen. This event serves as a reminder of the importance and value of our community.
The park boasts a wide array of attractions that are sure to thrill visitors of all ages. From exhilarating roller coasters and other exciting rides to breathtaking zip lines and a scenic gondola ride, there’s something for everyone. And when hunger strikes, visitors can indulge in delicious mountain-top dining with stunning views that are sure to take their breath away.