Shooter's Neighbor Called 911, Was Told Open Carry Is Legal

'That guy I just called you about, he just shot somebody'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2015 5:00 PM CST

(Newser) – Before Noah Harpham opened fire Saturday in Colorado Springs—killing three people seemingly at random—his neighbor called 911 to report him wandering around outside with a rifle, the Denver Post reports. "He did have a distraught look on his face," that neighbor, Naomi Bettis, tells the Post. "It looked like he had a rough couple days or so." But the 911 dispatcher informed her Colorado's open-carry law allows people to handle their guns in public. "It just kind of blew me away, like she didn’t believe me or something,” Bettis tells the Washington Post. So Bettis hung up and watched Harpham shoot and kill a bicyclist as he begged for his life, the Denver Post reports. She heard more shots after Harpham walked out of view.

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Bettis called 911 again. "I said, ‘That guy I just called you about, he just shot somebody,'” she tells the Washington Post. "Proponents of open carry laws argue that the ability for citizens to take firearms with them in public isn't just a right but makes communities safer," Mark Follman at Mother Jones writes. "We don't yet know, but the law allowing guns to be carried on display in Colorado may have just done the opposite." Colorado police tell the Washington Post they don't have a uniform response for 911 calls about people with guns in public. A motivation has not yet been identified in Saturday's shooting spree, the Denver Post reports. (Read more open carry states stories.)

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