"Heavily Armed Man Takes Own Life, Averts Amusement Park Attack in Colorado"
In a chilling turn of events, a heavily armed man, Diego Barajas Medina, chose to end his own life rather than carry out a planned attack on a mountaintop amusement park in Colorado, authorities revealed on Monday. Medina, 20, was discovered dead in a women's bathroom at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park by a maintenance crew before the park opened to the public on Saturday morning.
Medina's body, found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, was accompanied by a haunting message scrawled on the bathroom wall: "I am not a killer." He had entered the park during its closed hours, armed with an AR-style rifle, a semi-automatic handgun, and explosives. Additionally, he was dressed in body armor and tactical clothing akin to a police SWAT team member.
The message on the wall further stated, "I just want to get into the caves." Alongside Medina's body were a handgun and explosive devices, some real and some fake. The AR-style rifle and ammunition magazines were found nearby. Authorities, led by Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario, could not confirm whether Medina wrote the message.
Despite no prior indications at home or school of his intentions, investigators are yet to conduct in-depth interviews. The FBI will assist in reviewing Medina's phone records and social media postings as part of the ongoing investigation. Sheriff Vallario emphasized the level of preparation and weaponry, suggesting a high likelihood that Medina intended harm to the community but ultimately chose not to carry out the attack.
Multiple improvised explosive devices were discovered in Medina's vehicle, prompting authorities to search the park for additional explosives. The isolated location of the park, typically accessed by a gondola, presented challenges for responding to potential casualties. The incident, set against the backdrop of the fall weekend during hunting season, when the park would likely be crowded, highlights the gravity of the situation averted by the timely discovery of Medina's intentions.
"Tragic Turn: Colorado Amusement Park Averted Attack by Heavily Armed Local Resident"
Diego Barajas Medina, the 20-year-old who took his own life rather than carry out a planned attack on a Colorado amusement park, was a local resident from Carbondale, living with his mother and brother, according to Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario. In a local newspaper's list of high school graduates in 2021, Medina expressed intentions to work for a year before attending Colorado Mountain College, a community college in western Colorado.
Law enforcement's search of Medina's room yielded no evidence of explosives or bomb-making, and he had no known criminal history or previous encounters with the police. The weapons found on him were identified as ghost guns, lacking serial numbers, making them untraceable. Medina's attire included patches and emblems creating the appearance of an association with law enforcement.
While some of the suspected explosives turned out to be fake, resembling hand grenades, others were real. However, there was no indication that explosive devices were placed elsewhere inside the park, surrounded by state-owned public land above the Colorado River. Investigators believe Medina accessed the park via a service road.
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, known for its cave tours and thrilling rides, was fortunate that no employees or visitors were present when Medina entered the park. His body was found outside restricted areas where rides are located. In a statement issued on Monday, Glenwood Caverns General Manager Nancy Heard expressed sorrow over the incident and highlighted the significance of the Glenwood Springs community. The tragic event serves as a reminder of the community's resilience and the importance of vigilance in ensuring the safety of public spaces.
In conclusion, the incident involving Diego Barajas Medina, who took his own life rather than carrying out a planned attack on a Colorado amusement park, remains a tragic and somber chapter. As a local resident from Carbondale, with no known criminal history, Medina's actions have left the community in shock.
The swift response and discovery of Medina's intentions averted a potential catastrophe at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, underscoring the significance of vigilance and timely intervention. The lack of employees or visitors on-site during the incident proved fortuitous, preventing harm to innocent bystanders.
The investigation has revealed the use of ghost guns, untraceable firearms without serial numbers, and the presence of both real and fake explosive devices. While the motive behind Medina's disturbing plan remains unclear, the focus now shifts to understanding the circumstances leading to this tragic turn of events.
Glenwood Caverns General Manager Nancy Heard's statement emphasizes the resilience of the Glenwood Springs community, highlighting the need for continued support and vigilance in safeguarding public spaces. As the community grapples with the aftermath of this incident, it serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of community bonds and the collective responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of all residents.