Mass Shooting Averted at Colorado Amusement Park as Heavily Armed Man Found Dead

In a shocking turn of events, a 20-year-old man, identified as Diego Barajas Medina, tragically ended his own life at a popular Colorado amusement park, seemingly averting a potential shooting spree. Medina’s lifeless body was discovered in a women’s restroom at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park early Saturday morning before the park opened to visitors. According to Garfield County Coroner Robert Glassmire, Medina died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Upon entering the park after hours, Medina was equipped with a range of firearms and explosives, along with body armor and tactical attire, bearing a close resemblance to a police SWAT uniform. Disturbingly, a handwritten message was found near Medina’s body, which read, “I am not a killer, I just want to get into the caves.” This revelation, disclosed by Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario, raises questions about Medina’s intentions and mental state.

Despite the message, authorities are still uncertain if Medina himself wrote it. Vallario mentioned that there was no previous evidence from Medina’s personal or school life hinting at such a drastic plan. As part of the ongoing investigation, the FBI will assist in examining Medina’s phone and social media activities.

Medina’s alarming arsenal included not only a semi-automatic handgun and an AR-style rifle but also multiple improvised explosive devices, both real and fake, as per police statements. Vallario indicated that Medina’s preparations implied a potential threat to the community, which, thankfully, was not acted upon.

Following a thorough search, authorities confirmed the absence of other explosives within the park. Medina’s vehicle also contained multiple explosive devices. The coroner stated that Medina’s body was removed from the scene on Sunday after ensuring the area’s safety.

The incident’s timing could have led to a devastating outcome, as Vallario pointed out that the park, primarily accessible by gondola, would have been bustling with visitors during the autumn hunting season, complicating any emergency response.

Originating from the nearby town of Carbondale, Medina lived with his mother and brother. His plans after high school, as per a local newspaper listing in 2021, included working for a year before attending Colorado Mountain College. No criminal history or notable police interactions were recorded for Medina, and a search of his room revealed no evidence of bomb-making materials or explosives.

The weapons Medina possessed were identified as “ghost guns,” which lack serial numbers, complicating traceability. His attire, adorned with patches and emblems, misleadingly suggested an affiliation with law enforcement. Some explosives were discovered to be dummies, including decoy hand grenades, though others were verified as authentic.

Investigators believe that Medina accessed the park using a service road. Nestled above the Colorado River in western Colorado, the park boasts attractions like cave tours, an alpine coaster, and a cliff-edge swing ride. According to a statement from Glenwood Caverns, no staff or visitors were present at the time of Medina’s entry, and his body was found outside areas restricted to ride operations.

The Glenwood Caverns General Manager, Nancy Heard, reflected on the incident, emphasizing the strong bonds within the Glenwood Springs community and the deep sense of loss and tragedy it has evoked.