VA document says Colorado gunman had fled mental ward

Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018 10:00 AM
A memorial is seen on a police cruiser for the victims of what authorities describe as an ambush Monday at the Douglas Country Sheriff Substation in Highlands Ranch. A sheriff’s deputy was killed and other deputies were shot while responding to a call at an apartment complex early Sunday.
Gracie Parrish, center, holds a candle for her late husband Zackari Parrish, a Douglas County deputy, at Mission Hills Church in Littleton on Monday. A man who shot and killed the Colorado deputy and wounded several others along with a few civilians was an attorney and an Iraq war veteran who had posted videos online in recent months criticizing professors and law enforcement officials, authorities said Monday.
Matthew Riehl, 37, was shot to death Sunday after shooting at deputies, killing one. Authorities in suburban Denver are investigating what led Riehl to fire more than 100 rounds in his apartment on sheriff’s deputies.

DENVER – A Veterans Affairs document obtained by The Associated Press says the gunman who killed a Colorado sheriff’s deputy escaped from the mental health ward of a VA hospital in Wyoming in 2014 but was located and returned.

The document was provided to the AP by a congressional aide on condition of anonymity because the aide was not authorized to release it.

The document was first reported by The Denver Post.

Colorado authorities say Matthew Riehl fatally shot Douglas County Deputy Zackari Parrish and wounded four other officers on Sunday. Riehl was killed by a SWAT team.

The VA document says Riehl was hospitalized at the veterans medical center in Sheridan, Wyoming, in April 2014 after a psychotic episode. It says he escaped but was found and brought back.

The document identifies Riehl as an Army veteran who was honorably discharged.