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Wyoming Police Warned Colorado Law Enforcement About Cop-Killer

Police in Wyoming warned police in Colorado about the killer.

​Douglas, WY – The Colorado shooter, who murdered one Douglas County deputy and shot five others on New Year’s Eve, had made threats against the University of Wyoming (UW) law school in October of 2017.

In 2010, the now-dead shooter, Matthew Riehl, graduated from the UW School of Law, and then worked as an attorney in Rawlins, Wyo., before moving to Colorado.

Riehl withdrew his membership in the Wyoming state bar in October of 2016, was no longer eligible to practice law in that state.

But one year after he withdrew his membership, the University of Wyoming Police Department (UWPD) began investigating Riehl for threats made against the university’s law school, according to KUSA.

On Oct. 30, 2017, officers first received complaints about vulgar postings on Facebook by Riehl, UWPD Chief Michael Samp said.

UWPD couldn’t arrest Riehl because his threats weren’t directed at a specific person.

Police also discovered a Twitter account belonging to Riehl that had similar, vulgar postings.

After the church shooting outside of San Antonio in November, police said Riehl posted a photo from outside the law school.

While there was no direct threat, Riehl was “certainly implying harm to faculty, students or staff at the University of Wyoming,” Chief Samp told KUSA by phone.

On Nov. 6, 2017, UW College of Law Assistant Dean Lindsay Hoyt sent students an email with the subject line “Suspicious Person.”

“The UW Law School has received information about suspicious behavior involving a former student. There have been no direct threats to faculty, staff, or students, but as a precaution, students are being notified of this situation,” Hoyt wrote, according to KTWO.

Students were asked to immediately notify the UWPD if Riehl was seen near the law school, and were also told to be on the lookout for his red Ford Foxbody Mustang with Colorado plates.

Additionally, university police posted a uniformed officer at the law school during regular business hours and for special events in response to the threats.

Officers were stationed there until Nov. 12, 2017, when police determined Riehl was living in Colorado.

Chief Samp said his department reached out to the Lone Tree Police Department when they learned Riehl had guns and was living along Colorado’s Front Range.

On Nov. 21, 2017, Lone Tree police officers contacted university police to advise them they had encountered Riehl during a traffic stop.

Lone Tree police later told UW police officers that Riehl “did not appear to be a danger to himself or others at that time,” according to KUSA.

KUSA received a statement from Chad Baldwin, UW Associate Vice President for Communications and Marketing, after the Colorado shootings that expressed condolences and explained UW’s involvement.

“The University of Wyoming for several months has been investigating social media posts mentioning the UW College of Law by Matthew Riehl,” the statement read. “UW is cooperating with Colorado law enforcement agencies and defers to those agencies regarding this open investigation.

GinnyReed - January Tue, 2018


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