Names of officer involved in Colorado Springs shooting released

UPDATE: 11/4/15
Colorado Springs police have released the names of four officers who are on leave after they fired shots at a suspect accused of gunning down three people Saturday.

They are:
Patrol Training Officer R. Scott Hallas (hired August 2001) and his partner Officer Charles Surratt (hired March 2015). Officer Surratt was doing field training under Officer Hallas.

Patrol Training Officer Edward Crofoot (hired January 2008) and his partner Officer Matthew Anderson (hired March 2015). Officer Anderson was doing field training under Officer Crofoot.

UPDATE: 11/2/15 10 p.m.: We now know the names of all three victims killed during the shooting rampage over the weekend.

Police have identified the first person killed as 35-year-old Andrew Myers. He was riding his bike along Prospect Street when he was shot and killed.

Then the gunman walked to Platte and Wahsatch and shot two women. Jennifer Vasquez, 42, was a mother of two. We talked to her family during Sunday night’s vigil.

"I remember growing up as a kid, she was always there, that was my aunt. She was always there." Omar Martinez said.

Martinez’s dad Eloy Navarro told us their family is touched by the show of support from the community.

"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," Navarro said.

The other woman was Christy Gallela. She was also a mother of two. Her family told us she was trying to turn her life around. They believe our country should talk about gun violence.

"This is insane. Where and when is it going to stop?" her uncle Chris Bowman said.

"She could look at you and know if something was wrong and give you a hug that felt like hours of holding you,” Gallela’s sister Megan Williams said.

Both of the women who were killed were staying at a sober-living rehabilitation home.

11 News had the name of the shooter Sunday morning, but chose to withhold it until confirmed by investigators. Monday, investigators confirmed Noah Harpham, 33, was the shooter. At this time, investigators have not released a possible motive behind the shooting rampage.

In his video and written blogs, Harpham doesn't mention or allude to the horrific shooting spree.

“I watched him for a long time, but saw him walking with a black rifle still, and then he came back out with a handgun too, and he was just looking at the handgun like this is going to do it too,” neighbor Naomi Bettis told us.

Bettis lives across the street from the apartment Harpham rented.

In his video blog, recorded two days before the shootings, Harpham talked about a sermon he watched online by a pastor from California.

"I was just going to post my reply and I guess that's how I’ll start my blog. The blog is just going to be me with a video camera and that'll be it, we'll see what happens," Harpham said in his recording.

Monday night, that church responded. Bethel Church officials mention the shooter's dad Thomas Harpham in their reaction to Saturday's shooting rampage.

They said Thomas is a part of their church family.

"Stunned, horrified, angry and deeply, deeply grieved for the victims, their loved ones and the city of Colorado Springs. As well, we love Thomas, a grieving and dismayed parent who is devastated by the behavior of his adult child,” the statement reads.

According to our partners at the Gazette, the shooter's dad and brother released this statement, "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."

We've looked into the shooter's background and he did not have any criminal past that we could find except a speeding ticket.

The four officers who shot Harpham are on routine administrative leave during the investigation.

CSPD told us the officers were not wearing body cameras because they have not been issued to the department yet.
Previous coverage: 11/2/15 2 p.m.: Colorado Springs mayor John Suthers issued a statement Monday morning in the wake of a shooting spree Saturday that left four people dead, including the gunman.

"The Colorado Springs community suffered a terrible tragedy on Saturday morning with the shooting deaths of three innocent victims. The perpetrator was shot by police and there is no continuing threat to the community. However, on behalf of all the citizens of Colorado Springs, I want to convey our heartfelt sympathies to the families and friends of the victims of this crime. I am gratified that neighbors and neighborhood organizations in the area of the crime have rallied to honor the victims and support their families and friends."

"The investigation of the incident by the Colorado Springs Police Department and El Paso County Sheriff’s Department is ongoing, and further details of the incident will come from these agencies."

Previous Coverage: 11/01/15 10 p.m.: Sunday night family and friends remembered the victims who were shot to death in the middle of a neighborhood near downtown Colorado Springs.

There was a candlelight vigil to honor their lives.

Three people were killed during a shooting rampage Saturday morning. It started near Platte and Prospect where a bicyclist was killed.

A few blocks away, the shooter murdered two women outside a home.

Within minutes, and a half-mile away from the first shooting, the gunman was killed during a shootout with police.

We know at least four officers are on routine leave during this investigation.

Family, friends, and neighbors are mourning the loss of the victims, and the senseless violence near downtown.

The candle light vigil was held on the Shooks Run Trail at Platte. Hundreds showed up, including the family of one of the victims, Jennifer Vasquez.

Family members 11 News talked with said Vasquez was a loving mom of two, who will be terribly missed.

"I remember growing up as a kid, she was always there, that was my aunt. She was always there," Omar Martinez said.

Sunday night, hundreds huddled together with candles in hand to mourn Vasquez's death and the deaths of the two other victims gunned down.

Martinez’s dad Eloy Navarro told us their family is touched by the show of support from the community at the vigil. He said the mom of two was a wonderful woman, and a great cook.

"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," Navarro said.

"We just had dinner with [Vasquez] Friday night. She was there the night before she passed away. Every Sunday she comes to my house and she makes dinner for us, every Sunday,” Martinez added. “Last Sunday we had the best posole ever, and she made it."

This Sunday, instead of sitting down at the dinner table together, Vasquez’s family is at the vigil, surrounded by neighbors who say they too have felt the ripples of this tragic shooting and senseless violence.

"This affects the whole community, like I mentioned, this affects all of us," vigil organizer Jessie Pococi said.

Vasquez was one of two women shot and killed just a few hundred feet from where the vigil was held. The other victim was a bicyclist gunned down just a few blocks away.

According to the Gazette, the second woman who was killed is Christy Galella. She left behind two children. Her family says they are now trying to raise money for the unexpected expenses due to her sudden death.

Read below for full coverage.
Previous coverage: (11/1/15) 6 p.m.: 11 News is learning more about one of the victims who was murdered yesterday during the shooting rampage near downtown Colorado Springs.

Christy Galella is one of the two women who were killed by the shooter Saturday afternoon. 11 News talked to Galella's aunt, who lives in California, over the phone. She said Galella was a beautiful woman who was doing her best to get her life back on track.

Three people were killed before the suspect was shot and killed during a shootout with police.

It all happened along East Platte Avenue between Prospect and Wahsatch.

An 11 News crew spoke with people who say they knew the gunman, they say he was a relatively normal guy- at this point we are not releasing his name.

A woman who reportedly lives across the street from the suspect, Naomi Bettis told our partners at the Gazette she saw the gunman walk into the house with a rifle and a can of gasoline, then he went up an outside staircase and came out with a rifle and pistol.

She recalls he then walked down the street at took aim at his first victim.

"Don't shoot me!" the bicyclist yelled before the suspect killed him.

Just minutes later, the gunman continued his rampage down East Platte.

"He kept looking at me and I kept hollering, 'You don't gotta do this.' He kept walking. Because I was on the other side of the street. He was focused to do something,” Witness Kirby Revere said.

"I chose to take action. I was just thinking, 'He's not going to get away with this.' It's just not fair. He needs justice, something needs to happen to him,” witness Matthew Abshire said.

Abshire recalls the shooter's chilling behavior.

"Like he was walking a dog. Just walking down the street. Calm and collectively, that's what was creeping me out the most I think,” Abshire said.

Both witnesses saw the man shoot his next two victims, who were on a porch off Platte.

"I didn't realize how life can be taken at such short notice,” Abshire said.

"We don't know what's going to happen when we step out that door. Those two girls they didn't know. They were just sitting there having a cigarette and they got shot doing nothing but standing there,” Revere said.

Autopsies are expected to be completed Monday.

Previous coverage 10/31/15: "I was just sitting on my patio taking my dog out when I saw someone come around the corner, being chased by the police."

Aaron Nicks and dozens of other people in downtown Colorado Springs Saturday morning watched in horror as police exchanged gunfire with a man in front of the Wendy's restaurant on 222 N. Wahsatch Ave.

The shootout ended with the suspect shot and killed.

According to multiple witnesses, the suspect was on a shooting rampage in the minutes leading up to the Wendy's gun battle. Officers are still sorting out what happened, but do confirm there were two separate shootings prior to the officer-involved shooting that happened less than a half-mile apart. Three people were killed.

Police were originally called to 230 North Prospect Street at 8:45 a.m. on reports of gunshots. They found a deceased man sprawled on the side of the street next to an overturned bike, his backpack still on his back.

Officers also found a small fire in one of the homes on the 200 block of North Prospect, believed to be started by the gunman.

Immediately after the shooting on Prospect, the suspect took off running down East Platte, where officers say he shot more people on the 500 block. Though unconfirmed by police, witnesses say that the suspect was shooting at anyone in his way.

One of those witnesses told our partners at The Gazette he heard two gunshots from his kitchen.

"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," Matt Abshire told The Gazette.

While waiting for CSPD to answer, Abshire kept tailing the suspect.

"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.

Abshire told The Gazette he rushed to help, but that one of the victims was already dead.

Abshire said the officers encountered the gunman a moment later.

"They encountered him at the corner of Platte and Wahsatch, where the suspect opened fire on the officers and the officers returned fire," El Paso County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Jacqueline Kirby told 11 News. Because of a new law requiring outside agencies to investigate law enforcement-involved shootings, EPSO is investigating the Wendy's shooting.

"Me and my son were at the 7-Eleven using the 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," witness Alisha Jaynes told 11 News.

"They yelled, 'Put the gun down,' and he turned around, and that's when they shot at him a good 20 times. ... There was a lot of gunfire. He was running across the street right here [points at Wahsatch] and they pretty much shot him down," Nicks said.

"What I saw was he kind of, like, spun around and [police] yelled, 'Drop it,' and he kind of [gestures as though he's holding a gun] went to aim and that's when they shot him down."

Nicks said the suspect was darting between fast-food restaurants on Wahsatch as he tried to escape officers.

"He was running across from Taco Bell through here to the Wendy's, and that's where they shot him."

"[I was] watching a police officer fall on his stomach to the ground, maybe to get cover," Jaynes recalled.

"All of a sudden this guy just was shooting and running down this way and firing at police," another shaken up witness can be heard saying on a video from the scene, sent to 11 News by viewer Aaron Michael. The video was taken after the suspect was shot by officers.

"Some guy was shooting at police, so they shot him." Michael can be heard saying while recording.

"Oh my gosh, he shot at cops?" a woman says off-camera after asking Michael what was happening.

These witness accounts have not been confirmed by police, but Lt. Catherine Buckley with CSPD says there were numerous people who saw the whole thing unfold Saturday morning. Victim advocates have been provided to assist witnesses who are suffering from any kind of emotional trauma. Springs police and El Paso County deputies are working to interview each witness for the investigation.

No officers were injured in the shooting.

A large area of downtown Colorado Springs was closed until Saturday evening including Platte which was blocked from Corona to Weber and Wahsatch which was blocked from Kiowa to Boulder and Portions of Prospect.

Jaynes, who was in the area to watch a wrestling tournament at Palmer High School, said the school was placed on lockdown after the shootout. The school is within a short walk of all three crime scenes.

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office is asking anyone who was (1) in the area of Platte and Wahsatch Saturday between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. and (2) has damage to their home or vehicle that may be connected to yesterday's shooting,
to call them at 719-390-5555.