A Highlands Ranch man who reportedly made threats of mass gun violence in early April has checked himself into a hospital, a spokesman with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said.
The 24-year-old’s decision to seek treatment on April 26 came just days after he was released from Littleton Adventist Hospital on a hold for suicidal and homicidal thoughts. The man had made threats to “shoot as many people” as he could at the hospital and at a random Target store, according to a safety alert issued by the Littleton Police Department. He was admitted to the hospital from April 6-22.
A loaded AR-15 rifle and several loaded magazines were found at his home, then placed with a relative for safekeeping, the alert stated.
Colorado Community Media is not releasing the name of the individual because he has not been charged with a crime. However, the man’s name was used in reports by several other media outlets throughout the day on April 25 after, according to law enforcement officials, the safety alert inadvertently reached the public.
“Regarding today’s limited distribution of a Safety Alert, the Littleton Police Department routinely releases such information to affected parties, as a precautionary measure and a courtesy,” Littleton police said in a written statement. “It is not uncommon in law enforcement to share information about threats, suspicious behavior, criminal activity, health concerns and other issues with other law enforcement agencies, hospitals, fire departments, family members, former employers, etc. The Littleton Police Department disseminates this information to those who may be most closely affected.”
During the time he was out of the hospital, Littleton police kept tabs on the man’s whereabouts but had no reason to apprehend him since he had not committed a crime. Littleton Adventist also employed armed security as a precaution.
Littleton police had no further comment on April 26, but Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chad Teller confirmed the man was seeking help. The location of the hospital was not released.
“At the present time, we do not believe he is a threat to the general public,” Teller wrote in a news release.
Littleton Adventist remains in a cautious mode, as evidenced by an April 26 Facebook posting.
“At this time and to the best of our knowledge, the suspect is no longer a threat, according to law enforcement. However, we have implemented additional security measures for our entire campus that will continue for the foreseeable future.”