December 30th, 2013
01:46 PM ET

Sheriff: Colorado school gunman got in through unlocked door

The gunman who opened fire at a Colorado high school this month came into the school through a door that should have been locked, a sheriff said Monday.

"We know the doorway on the north side that the murderer entered is supposed to be locked. Unfortunately, it rarely is, because it is more convenient for people to come and go from that area. The door that he entered was not secured on December 13," Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson told reporters. "He entered without any obstruction."

The gunman legally bought a shotgun from a local retailer after passing a background check on December 6 - a week before the shooting at Arapahoe High School - and spent a week stocking up on ammunition, Robinson said.

The shooter was still trying to buy more shells less than an hour before he entered through the unlocked side door carrying the shotgun, a machete, three Molotov cocktails and 125 rounds.

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Filed under: Colorado • Crime • U.S.
September 13th, 2013
09:55 AM ET

Colorado floods: Sound the alert, more flash floods possible

Flood sirens sounded overnight as Colorado emergency officials feared that debris-caked canyons might give way and send another wall of water crashing through the city of Boulder and neighboring communities.

"All residents are warned to go to higher ground immediately due to the potential for flash flooding along the creek," Boulder's Office of Emergency Management said.

Emergency management warned that "there are mudslides at the mouth of Boulder Canyon 400 feet long and four feet deep as the sides of the canyon give way due to the saturation from the days-long rain."

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September 12th, 2013
09:51 AM ET

Colorado flash floods kill 2

More than half a foot of rain deluged Boulder County, Colorado, overnight, setting off flooding and rock slides that collapsed homes, put dams at risk and killed at least two people.

One person died after being trapped in a collapsed building, in Jamestown, Boulder County spokeswoman Gabbie Boerkircher said.

The circumstances surrounding the other death weren't clear early Thursday, but the Colorado Springs Fire Department said on Twitter that the body had been recovered by a "heavy rescue team."

Numerous other buildings had collapsed, but it was unclear how many or if there were any other injuries, Boerkircher said. A rockslide was hampering access to the site.

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1 dead, 3 missing in Colorado floods
Floodwaters wash over a highway in Manitou Springs, Colorado, this weekend.
August 10th, 2013
03:00 PM ET

1 dead, 3 missing in Colorado floods

Three people were unaccounted for in Manitou Springs, Colorado, after an inch and a half of rain caused flash floods, the town's police chief said Saturday.

One of the missing is a petite blonde woman "seen near the creek hanging in a tree one minute and not seen the next," Police Chief Joe Ribeiro said. Two other men were also reported missing by a family member and a neighbor.

The National Weather Service say more showers and thunderstorms are expected through the weekend in states ranging from the Pacific Northwest to the deep South. In Colorado, slow-moving, heavy rain could wreak even more havoc by way of flash flooding as it falls on saturated and unstable soils in the area plagued by last year's devastating Waldo Canyon wildfire.

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Filed under: Colorado • Flooding • Weather
Missing American woman in Nepal
August 3rd, 2013
09:31 AM ET

Missing American woman in Nepal

Aubrey Sacco from Colorado went trekking alone in Nepal, against her parents' advice, and disappeared. That was three years ago. There has been no trace of her despite many searches.

A breakthrough in her case came this week when Nepalese police arrested two men who hail from the region where she vanished. "We assume that she has been murdered," police said Saturday.

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Filed under: Colorado • Crime • Nepal • Travel • U.S. • Uncategorized • World • World Update
Coloradans flee as wildfires destroy homes, kill 2
The Black Forest fire -- dubbed the most destructive in Colorado history -- burns Thursday in Black Forest, Colorado.
June 14th, 2013
10:09 AM ET

Coloradans flee as wildfires destroy homes, kill 2

The forecast Friday provides little hope for firefighters trying to make headway against a raging wildfire northeast of Colorado Springs.

The high temperatures and blustery winds will be back, along with little chance for meaningful rain. The weather is expected to cool some over the weekend, with calmer winds, but no significant showers.

The Black Forest Fire has been dubbed the most destructive in state history after it scorched close to 16,000 acres, destroyed 379 homes and claimed at least two lives by Thursday evening.

Witnesses spoke to the two victims in the afternoon as the flames approached, El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa said.

"They said that they could see a glow to the west," he said. "They were packing their personal belongings, trying to get out."

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Filed under: Colorado
June 4th, 2013
03:17 PM ET

Insanity plea OK'd in theater shootings

The judge in James Holmes' murder trial accepted his plea of not guilty by reason of insanity Tuesday.

The suspect in last summer's shooting spree that killed 12 people and wounded dozens at an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater will be taken to the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo for evaluation.

He's expected to be returned to the Arapahoe County Jail on August 2.

Judge Carlos Samour Jr.'s ruling Tuesday came about a month after Holmes' attorneys asked to change his plea from a standard not guilty. The original not-guilty plea was entered by a judge on Holmes' behalf in March, over his objection, his defense team said.

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Filed under: Colorado • Crime
April 16th, 2013
03:37 AM ET

Immigration bill: Must secure border

The border with Mexico must be secure.

This requirement is the cornerstone of an immigration reform bill a bipartisan group of senators are to file on Capitol Hill Tuesday. There will be no path to legal residency for migrants without it.

Undocumented immigrants may also not reach the status of fully legal residents under the proposed legislation, until the Department of Homeland Security has implemented measures to prevent "unauthorized workers from obtaining employment in the United States."

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April 8th, 2013
09:42 PM ET

Winter weather just won't quit

A "major winter storm" was developing over the western Plains on Monday evening, promising "a plethora of interesting weather conditions," The National Weather Service's Weather Prediction Center said.

"Blizzard conditions are likely over parts of Wyoming, Colorado, western Nebraska and western Kansas" beginning late Monday and lasting through much of Tuesday, the weather service said.

The Denver metro area could see as much as a foot of snow, and the foothills and mountains can expect even more than that.

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Filed under: Colorado • Weather • Winter weather
April 5th, 2013
07:56 AM ET

Associate of suspected Colorado killer arrested

Colorado Springs police have arrested a man who authorities want to question in relation to the March shooting death of prison chief Tom Clements.

James Lohr, who police said is a member of a white supremacist prison gang, is an associate of Evan Ebel, the man suspected of killing Clements, Lt. Jeff Kramer of the El Paso County, Colorado, sheriff's department said.

Lohr had multiple misdemeanor warrants out for his arrest, and it was not immediately clear if he is facing new charges.

In addition to Lohr, police were on the lookout for another Ebel associate, Thomas Guolee, 31.

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April 4th, 2013
01:13 AM ET

Men sought in connection with Colorado killing

Colorado authorities are looking for two members of the white supremacist prison gang known as the 211 Crew in connection with the killing of state prisons chief Tom Clements.

El Paso County Sheriff's Office identified the two men as James Lohr, 47, and Thomas Guolee, 31. One or both could be headed toward Nevada, the office said.

"They are both known associates of the 211 Crew," said Sheriff's Lt. Jeff Kramer. "They are believed to be armed and dangerous."

Clements was widely recognized for cracking down on prison gangs, including the 211 Crew. He was shot at his home by former gang member Evan Ebel, who was out of prison on parole.

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Colorado suspect had 28 violations in prison
The gun Evan Ebel used in a shootout with Texas police has been linked to a prison official's killing in Colorado.
March 28th, 2013
05:41 PM ET

Colorado suspect had 28 violations in prison

Evan Ebel, the man suspected of killing the head of the Colorado prison system, was written up for 28 violations during his incarceration in the state, according to records released Thursday by the Colorado Department of Corrections.

Ebel said he would make the guard "beg for her life" if he ever saw her on the streets, records indicate. He also was involved in two fights and three cases of assault and was written up for 28 violations during his imprisonment, the reports said.

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Filed under: Colorado • Crime • Texas
March 28th, 2013
02:25 PM ET

Official: Colo. suspect had tracking device

The 28-year-old convict suspected of shooting to death Colorado's prison chief left prison wearing an ankle bracelet tracking device when he was paroled, according to a Colorado law enforcement official who has examined Evan Ebel's prison case file.

While that new detail emerged Thursday, a 22-year-old woman police say is connected to the case appeared in court.

Stevie Marie Vigil of Commerce City made a "straw purchase" from a weapons dealer and gave the gun to Evan Ebel, a convicted felon who could not purchase his own firearm, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

Colorado prisons chief Tom Clements was shot to death at his home outside Colorado Springs on March 19. Ebel, 28, was killed two days later in northern Texas in a gun battle with authorities that left a sheriff's deputy wounded.

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Woman arrested in Colorado prison chief case
March 28th, 2013
03:40 AM ET

Woman arrested in Colorado prison chief case

A 22-year-old woman is accused of buying the weapon used to kill Colorado prison chief Tom Clements last week and funneling the weapon to the alleged gunman.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation said Stevie Marie Vigil of Commerce City, Colorado, was arrested Wednesday night. Authorities say she made a "straw purchase" from a weapons dealer and transferred the weapon to Evan Ebel, a convicted felon who could not purchase his own firearm.

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Filed under: Colorado • Crime • Justice • U.S.
Theater shooting suspect offers plea deal
Prosecutors rejected James Holmes' offer to plead guilty.
March 27th, 2013
05:58 PM ET

Theater shooting suspect offers plea deal

Aurora, Colorado, shooting suspect James Holmes has offered to plead guilty and spend the rest of his life behind bars in exchange for avoiding the death penalty, according to court documents filed Wednesday.

Prosecutors have not accepted the offer because they may choose to pursue the death penalty. Prosecutors have said they will make a decision on whether or not to seek the death penalty against the 25-year-old Holmes at a hearing April 1.

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Filed under: Colorado • Crime • Gun violence • Justice • U.S.
Authorities: Bomb materials in Colo. suspect's car
The gun Evan Ebel used in a shootout with Texas police has been linked to a prison official's killing in Colorado.
March 26th, 2013
05:44 PM ET

Authorities: Bomb materials in Colo. suspect's car

Texas authorities said Tuesday that investigators found bomb-making materials in the car of Evan Ebel, the man suspected of killing Tom Clements, the Colorado prison system chief.

A report from the Texas Department of Public Safety said officers found the bomb-making materials in a duffel bag in the trunk as well as instructions on how to make an explosive device.

Texas Rangers also discovered tan pants with apparent blood on them in a cooler.

Clements was shot to death March 19 at his home outside Colorado Springs. Ebel was mortally wounded two days later in northern Texas in a gunbattle with authorities that also left a sheriff's deputy wounded.

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Gun links Colorado prison chief's killing to Texas shootout
March 25th, 2013
04:59 PM ET

Gun links Colorado prison chief's killing to Texas shootout

The bullets that killed Colorado prison chief Tom Clements came from the gun found with a former inmate who died in a shootout with Texas police two days later, investigators confirmed Monday.

The news came as Colorado held a public memorial service for Clements, the executive director of the state Department of Corrections. The El Paso, Texas, County Sheriff's Department said it was still trying to determine whether the suspect in Clements' slaying, Evan Ebel, acted alone or what his motive may have been.
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Filed under: Colorado • Crime • Texas
March 22nd, 2013
10:58 AM ET

Focus on Colorado parolee in prison chief's death

Colorado investigators are in Decatur, Texas, Friday morning eager to examine evidence found in a black Cadillac whose driver might have been involved in the slaying of Colorado's prison system chief.

The driver was Evan Ebel, a former Colorado prison inmate, El Paso County, Colorado, Undersheriff Paula Presley confirmed to CNN Friday. He died Thursday evening after being shot at the end of a high-speed chase that followed the wounding of a deputy.

Ebel is the focus of the investigation into the shooting Tuesday of Colorado corrections chief Tom Clements, who was shot dead Tuesday evening as he opened the door of his rural Colorado home.

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Filed under: Colorado • Crime • Texas
March 21st, 2013
12:57 PM ET

Prison chief's death: Saudi's case considered

[Posted at 12:57 p.m. ET] While the investigation into the slaying of Colorado's prison chief is "wide open," a top law enforcement official told CNN that one case involving a Saudi national is being considered.

When asked if any cases have risen to the top in the search for who killed Tom Clements, El Paso County Undersheriff Paula Presley brought up a case involving Homaidan al-Turki.

"There has been, you know, one case in specific that has been mentioned, certainly that the media has mentioned, with al-Turki, who was denied transfer back to Saudi Arabia. And certainly that has been in the media in the last 24 hours," Presley said, referring to reports in both the Denver Post and CNN affiliate the Denver Channel. Read more about this case

[Posted at 11:25 a.m. ET] Colorado beefed up security at the governor's office and other statewide locations amid the search for the person who gunned down the state's prison chief at his home less than 48 hours earlier, law enforcement said.

Tom Clements was shot dead Tuesday night after opening the door at his home in Monument, about 50 miles south of Denver.

"We are looking at all potential tips, leads, threats that Mr. Clements may have had from anybody in that prison system," El Paso County Undersheriff Paula Presley told CNN on Thursday. "The investigation is wide open at this point."

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Filed under: Colorado • Crime
March 20th, 2013
10:19 AM ET

Colorado prison chief shot dead at his door, authorities say

[Posted at 10:19 a.m. ET] The executive director of Colorado's prison system was shot when he opened his door, according to a 911 caller that police have identified as a relative in the home.

El Paso County Sheriff's deputies arrived at Tom Clements' Black Forest home - about 20 miles outside Colorado Springs - to find the 58-year-old dead Tuesday night, said Lt. Jeff Kramer.

[Posted at 9:47 a.m. ET] The executive director of Colorado's prison system has been found dead in his home, and authorities believe someone killed him, a spokesman for Gov. John Hickenlooper said early Wednesday.

Tom Clements, executive director of the Colorado Department of Corrections, was found dead at his home in Black Forest, Colorado, spokesman Eric Brown said.

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