Highlands Ranch, CO – The killer who murdered Officer Zach Parrish live-streamed the incident on Periscope. Law enforcement had the video taken down, but copies have surfaced online (video below.)
We’ve confirmed that distribution of the video won’t interfere with law enforcement.
In the video, Matthew Riehl, 37, could be seen babbling to his imagined audience, as he livestreamed the activities of the night that ended with him shooting five police officers.
The video showed Riehl having an argument with his “domestic partner” earlier in the night. Police later said his partner had called 911 about Riehl.
The partner told police that Riehl “was acting bizarre and might be having a mental breakdown” but the deputies found no evidence of a crime and left, CBS News reported.
Riehl livestreamed his side of the story.
“So, if anybody bothers me, that’s why I’ve had a couple of scotches on Periscope,” Riehl said in the video.
“You’re with me. You’re my witness here because some people don’t understand there may be a witness even if you think you’re the only one there,” he said.
At one point, he appeared to have a conversation with somebody off camera, KUSA reported.
“I’ll murder you in self-defense. Self-defense, Matthew. Don’t be crazy now. Go to bed … ,” Riehl said. “Thought we had a relationship, Matthew. What’s going on? I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have used the ‘M’ word, but I’m so angry. I’m so angry, Matthew.”
The video showed Riehl sipping scotch and rambling, including talking about the more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition he’d recently purchased at Walmart.
He talked about moving to Texas, made references to the time he served in Iraq, and used a deck of playing cards to describe people in his life, according to KUSA.
Then Riehl called 911 to report the altercation with his domestic partner.
He told the dispatcher he’d been drinking and that he had weapons, but he also said he wasn’t going to hurt anybody.
When deputies were called back, Riehl’s domestic partner met them with a key and granted permission to enter the home, leaving again before shots were fired, CBS News reported.
When police arrived at the apartment’s door, the video showed Riehl was immediately confrontational, and said he’d called them for help getting a protective order against his partner because police wouldn’t help him earlier in the evening.
“Who’s there? Who’s there? Identify yourself,” Riehl asked repeatedly, despite the fact he had called police himself.
Eventually, he opened the door.
“I just feel like you’re really upset,” one deputy said on the video.
“Well, I am because I was assaulted, and you didn’t help me,” Riehl responded.
Riehl told police he didn’t have to be hit to be assaulted, and the deputy tried to explain that Riehl needed to contact the county’s civil division for help since there hadn’t been a physical altercation.
The answer didn’t satisfy Riehl, and the video showed him slamming the door as he started screaming at the deputies to go away.
Deputies knocked on the door, and Riehl told police to “go away,” repeatedly.
“He’s still banging,” Riehl said to the camera. “Go away, I’m fine. I’m wonderful. Goodnight. Goodnight. Sleep well. Goodnight.”
On the Periscope video below, Riehl can be heard – but not seen – continuing to scream at the deputies to leave.
“Go away. Go away. Don’t come in. I warn you – identify! What’s your name?” Riehl yelled, and then a long burst of gunfire can be heard.
He continued screaming after the first burst of bullets.
“Leave me alone. Why are you here without a warrant?” Riehl yelled before letting loose another torrent of ammunition on the officers he’d ambushed.
His screaming became hysterical at that point on the video.
“They broke my door. They broke my door in. Oh my God. Why why why? Leave me alone!” Riehl yelled and the available livestream video ended.
Four officers, including Deputy Parrish, were shot from a bedroom around 6 a.m., forcing police to retreat, CBS News reported.
A SWAT team entered the apartment about 90 minutes later in an exchange of gunfire that left the gunman dead, and another officer shot.
Periscope, Facebook and YouTube have all removed Riehl’s original livestreamed videos from that night.
Investigators were already looking at Riehl before his New Year’s Eve rampage.
He posted a video vowing to get rid of Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock on Dec. 13, 2017, and calling a Douglas County deputy a “pimp.”
Riehl had also posted two videos that included what appeared to be bodycam footage of a Lone Tree police officer’s traffic stop on Riehl’s vehicle in November of 2017. He claimed the officer used his radar gun on somebody else’s vehicle, and then smashed his window with a “billy club.”
His alma mater, the University of Wyoming School of Law, had to put out a bulletin warning students to be on the lookout for Riehl after he posted several frightening messages about the school on social media in October. They also posted police officers at the law school building during classes.
In the weeks before the shooting, Riehl also uploaded a long, critical diatribe about the law school and its administration to his YouTube.
Multiple videos below:
Riehl rambling, calling 911, confronting and eventually ambushing the law enforcement officers who responded to help him below (WARNING: Audio is graphic and disturbing):
Riehl ranting about Sheriff Spurlock and his “pimps” below:
Lone Tree police’s traffic stop below:
Riehl’s Facebook live video telling how he feels about the University of Wyoming Law School below: