Over the weekend, law enforcement in Colorado began an investigation after discovering the body of a man inside an amusement park who was heavily armed and wearing body armor. The man was found to have multiple improvised explosive devices on him, adding to the already alarming situation.
According to the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, officials were notified by employees of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park that the body of a 20-year-old man had been discovered on Saturday morning, before the park had opened.
On Monday evening, officials revealed the name of the man as Diego Barajas Medina. Glenwood Springs, a stunning resort city in the Rocky Mountains, is home to a beautiful park nestled amidst the White River National Forest. The park’s location makes it an ideal spot for those who wish to immerse themselves in nature’s beauty and enjoy the serenity of the mountains.
According to USA TODAY, the death of Medina is being investigated as a potential suicide, as confirmed by Walt Stowe, who serves as a spokesperson for the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.
On Monday, Stowe stated that the community is currently safe and there is no imminent danger. It remains unclear how Medina met his demise, but the agency has confirmed that his death did not occur on any of the rides. According to a press release, he was not authorized to be inside the park at the time of his passing.
Dressed in black tactical clothing bearing emblems as if he were law enforcement
In a news release on Monday, the police stated that Medina, who was from the Carbondale region, was discovered deceased while wearing black tactical attire. The clothing was adorned with patches and emblems that gave off the impression of being linked to law enforcement, as per the initial investigation.
During a press conference held on Monday afternoon, Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario revealed that the suspect was carrying a semi-automatic rifle, a semi-automatic handgun, and multiple loaded magazines for both weapons. According to the sheriff, it is believed that both of the weapons used were “ghost guns.”
During the incident, Medina was seen wearing body armor and what seemed to be a ballistic helmet. Upon further investigation, multiple improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were found in his possession, as well as in a vehicle linked to him that was discovered at the park. Sheriff Vallario clarified during the press conference that some of the suspected explosive devices were actually fake.
According to the statement, the park authorities called in a bomb squad who successfully rendered the devices safe. The Garfield County All Hazard response team, supported by bomb squad members, conducted a thorough sweep of the park to ensure that no additional improvised explosive devices (IEDs) had been planted.
Law enforcement officials have stated that as per the ongoing investigation, Medina’s actions were confined to the Glenwood Caverns property.
On Facebook, the agency issued the following statement:
In order to ensure the safety of the public and assess the scope of the suspect’s criminal activity, the first two days of the investigation were conducted in a meticulous and deliberate manner. Both the suspect’s residence and the surrounding property were thoroughly searched, with particular attention paid to the safety of all involved, including the public, law enforcement, and bomb disposal personnel. Additionally, efforts were made to ensure that the cabins in the vicinity were safe to reopen.
According to the police, Medina had a significant amount of weapons, ammunition, and explosive devices in his possession. They believe that he had the potential of carrying out a devastating attack on the community and first responders.
Suspect’s cause and manner of death pending autopsy
As per the statement released, it seems that Medina arrived at the park in a vehicle prior to his entry. The authorities are currently investigating to ensure that none of the rides, equipment, on-site buildings, or other facilities of the park were interfered with.
Two students from Georgia State University were among the victims of a shooting incident that took place near the university’s campus in downtown Atlanta. Along with the two students, two others were also shot. The authorities are currently investigating the matter and working to identify the perpetrators of the crime. The incident has caused concern amongst the university community and calls for greater safety measures in the area.
Body, findings prompts closure of park
A spokesperson for the park revealed that Medina entered the property without permission while there were no guests or employees present.
According to USA TODAY, the General Manager of the park, Nancy Heard, expressed her sadness and acknowledged the importance of the community in Glenwood Springs. She also appreciated the quick response and diligent efforts of the Garfield County Sheriff’s Department and Coroner’s Office, as well as other authorities involved in the investigation. Heard added that their collective work has ensured the park’s safety, allowing it to reopen.
The website states that the park is situated on top of a mountain, making it the sole mountain-top theme park in the country. It is conveniently located between Aspen and Vail, and can be accessed via Interstate 70.
Visitors to the park can look forward to a variety of thrilling attractions, such as roller coasters, zip lines, and other exciting rides. In addition, guests can take in the stunning views from the gondola and enjoy a delicious meal at the mountain-top dining area.
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