Noah Jacob Harpham has been identified as the shooter in a mass shooting that took place in Colorado Springs on Saturday. KKTV reported that the man killed three before he was killed in a gun battle with the police.
The identities of the shooter or his victims were not immediately released by the police. Authorities wanted autopsies to be performed on the three shooting victims before they released the names to the media. The names of the shooter and his three victims were released on Monday.
A witness to the shooting in Colorado Springs, Matthew Abshire, detailed Harpham’s actions. The man saw what the shooter was doing and followed him until authorities had the shooter in their sights.
KKTV shared his account.
“I looked out my kitchen window and I saw a man in a green jacket firing an AR-15… waited a few seconds, went out of my house, looked to my left and saw a man down the street, probably 50 feet. I started following him and I called the cops. Still following him, he’s heading left on Platte towards Palmer High School… probably a hundred yards past El Paso Street he stops, turns to his left, fires four shots, shoots two ladies, one in the jaw, one in the chest if I’m not mistaken.”
When Abshire rushed to help one of the women shot by Harpham, the police encountered the shooter only moments later.
Jacqueline Kirby, the spokesperson for the El Paso County Sheriff, said, “They encountered him at the corner of Platte and Wahsatch, where the suspect opened fire on the officers and the officers returned fire.”
However, it was later revealed that no body cameras or dash cameras were working at the time of the shootout with Harpham on Saturday. There were several eyewitnesses to the gun battle, but there is no official footage from the officers involved. The identities of the four police officers involved in the shooting have not been released. Those names will be released to the media later this week. All four officers involved are currently on administrative leave.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 2, 2015
A mother and son were at the nearby 7-Eleven during the gun battle. Alisha Jaynes spoke about the shooter’s demeanor during the shooting.
“Me and my son were at the 7-Eleven using the ATM…as soon as I walked outside I heard six gunshots up the street… We see the cop cars swarm in. I saw the guy with the gun just walking with the gun in his hand… Just calm, standing there with a gun in his hand.”
The shooting on Saturday shocked residents of Colorado Springs. It was not until late Monday night that the names of the three people killed in the shooting rampage were officially released. U.S. News & World Report identified the victims as Andrew Alan Myers, 35, Jennifer Michelle Vasquez, 42, and Christina Rose Baccus-Gallela, 34.
At this time, the reasons for the shooting are not known. It is believed that the shooting was random. Police have looked into a blog post shared by the man before the shooting, but it offered no clues about the man’s motives.
— BCNN1 (@bcnn1) November 3, 2015
Family members of the two women shot on Saturday have spoken with the media about the incident and the loss of their loved one.
Omar Martinez, the nephew of Jennifer Vasquez, said, “I remember growing up as a kid, she was always there, that was my aunt. She was always there.”
His father, Eloy Navarro, also spoke with the media, saying, “We’re just saddened by all this that happened, and like they were saying, we can’t understand why, and when it’s going to stop.”
The uncle of Christy Gallela, Chris Bowman, had a stronger statement to make to the media. 9 News shared his comments on Monday night.
“I am glad the shooter was taken down because I would probably devote every fiber in my being to some type of vengeance and I don’t want to live that way. It is time as a society and a citizenry that we start talking seriously about gun violence in this country. This is insane. Where and when is it going to stop? I don’t know how we look ourselves in the mirror anymore.”
Harpham’s father and brother also released their own statement about the incident.
Their statement said, “Our family is shocked and deeply saddened by the devastating events that took place in Colorado Springs on Saturday morning. Words cannot express our heartfelt sympathies that go out to the families and friends of the victims.”
Noah Jacob Harpham attended Sisters High School in Oregon during his teens. Charlie Kanzig, a teacher and coach at the school, shared his statement with the media, according to KTVZ.
“I am sure that all of the people of Sisters who know this family feel as heartsick as I do. Noah was a talented young man — a musician, an athlete, a thinker. There is no way any of us can possibly make sense how Noah came to end up in such a dark and violent place. To know that the Noah Harpham I remember could commit such an act tells me there is no simple explanation, or response, to offer.”
This shooting has the attention of the country this week. It is the latest shooting in recent weeks that has caused people to speak out for new gun legislation in this country. Chris Bowman, the uncle of one of the victims, even called for better gun laws in order to stop senseless and needless shootings like the one in Colorado.
The police are still investigating this crime.
[Image via Google Maps]