Charges considered for Matthew Riehl weeks before attack

Multiple deputies down after shots fired in suburban Denver

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (AP) Weeks before a man killed a Colorado sheriff's deputy and wounded four other officers, prosecutors considered but declined to file criminal charges against him over angry emails he sent.

Matthew Riehl ambushed police who responded to a 911 call he made from his suburban Denver apartment Dec. 31.

Douglas County Sheriff's Deputy Zackari Parrish was killed before the 37-year-old Riehl was killed by police.

Riehl sent more than a dozen irate emails after he was issued a traffic citation Nov. 10 to the ticketing officer and the municipal court.

KMGH-TV reports that public records it obtained showed police and prosecutors considering misdemeanor charges against Riehl.

But prosecutors determined on Dec. 14 that Riehl's rants weren't criminal.

Prosecutors say it is unlikely Riehl would've been in custody New Year's Eve had he been charged.

Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said Matthew Riehl fired a shotgun, an M16 rifle, a pistol and an M4 rifle.

Spurlock says Riehl legally owned 15 weapons purchased between 2011 and 2016, and 11 of the guns were functional at the time of the New Year's Eve shooting.

Police and Veterans Affairs records indicate Riehl had mental health issues but would not have been barred from owning guns.