Ambush Gunman Had Grudge Against Police

He ranted online, said he would run for sheriff
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2018 9:28 AM CST
This photo provided by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office shows Sheriff's Deputy Zackari Parrish.   (Douglas County Sheriff's Office via AP)
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(Newser) – The man who killed a deputy and wounded four other officers in an ambush in Colorado Sunday had no criminal record, police say—but he evidently had a grudge against the police in Douglas County. In videos posted on YouTube, 37-year-old Matthew Riehl ranted against police, singling out an officer who pulled him over, the Denver Post reports. In a video originally posted Dec. 13, Riehl, a veteran who worked as a lawyer in Wyoming after leaving the military, calls Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock a "clown" and says he plans to run for sheriff as a Libertarian. The Colorado Libertarian Party says Riehl was never a candidate or member of the party and they "repudiate any kind of violent actions against the government."

Riehl—who wore an Iraqi Freedom veteran's cap in the Dec. 13 video—entered the Army Reserves in 2003, was deployed to Iraq with the Wyoming National Guard in 2009, and received an honorable discharge in 2012, a military spokeswoman says. He was shot dead early Sunday after firing more than 100 rounds at police responding to a domestic disturbance call at the Highlands Ranch apartment complex in suburban Denver. Police say that around an hour before the ambush, they responded to a complaint involving a man who "was acting bizarre and might be having a mental breakdown," but they left after finding no evidence of a crime, CBS News reports. A GoFundMe campaign has been started to help the wife and two young daughters of slain officer Zackari Parrish. The 29-year-old had joined the force just seven months ago, (Read more Colorado stories.)

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