Man who killed himself rather than commit mass shooting had researched gun massacres, police say

People ride the Giant Canyon Swing at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs, Colo., June 10, 2011. (AP)
People ride the Giant Canyon Swing at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Glenwood Springs, Colo., June 10, 2011. (AP)

A man who fatally shot himself at a Colorado amusement park last year had previously researched mass shootings online, police said.

Diego Barajas Medina, 20, was found dead in a bathroom at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in October. He was wearing tactical gear and body armour and had a handgun, explosives, and an AR-15 style rifle with him. The phrase “I’m not a killer. I just wanted to get in the cave" was found written on the bathroom wall.

"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," Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario said in a press conference at the time.

In a search of Mr Medina’s phone and computer, law enforcement determined he had “visited several sites discussing other mass shootings,” the sheriff’s office said in a press release Thursday.

It remains a mystery why Mr Medina had seemingly planned a deadly attack — and why he killed himself instead of enacting it. “The investigation was unable to uncover any motive for Diego amassing such a lethal arsenal, nor did it explain what happened to change his mind and why he did not follow through with whatever he was planning,” the press release stated.

There were no drugs or alcohol in Mr Medina’s system at the time of his death, officials said, despite alcohol being found alongside his body.

Investigators said he entered the park before it opened, when no other people were present.

There were no known ties between Mr Medina and the park, officials told the Associated Press, noting that people who knew him described him as “a bit of loner.”

“The Sheriff’s Office acknowledges that given the amount of weaponry, ammunition, and explosive devices found, Diego could have implemented an attack of devastating proportions on our community resulting in multiple injuries and possibly death to members of the public as well as first responders,” the sheriff’s office said in the press release. “As a community, we are fortunate and thankful that this did not happen.”