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Family tried to get Halloween mass shooter committed - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Family tried to get Halloween mass shooter committed

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COLORADO SPRINGS -

Fourth Judicial District Attorney Dan May said the Colorado Springs Police officers who shot and killed a gunman amid a firefight on Halloween acted heroically and were justified in their use of deadly force.

Three people were shot and killed by gunman Noah Harpham as he went on a rampage between his house on Prospect Street and the scene of the shootout with officers at Platte Avenue and Wasatch Avenue.

In addition to releasing their investigative report, May also distributed copies of a PowerPoint presentation that contained a summary of the mass shooting which included surveillance video, 911 calls and crime scene photographs.

"We put more in this report than we normally do because we felt that there were a lot of issues there that the public should know about," May explained.

Those issues include the shooter's mental health. Two days before the attack, Noah Harpham posted a rambling video on YouTube. The night before, his parents had urged his ex-girlfriend to stay away.

"His family was actually coming out here to try to get him committed," May said "That process is extremely hard. You've got to determine right now that they are a danger to themselves or others and how do you prove that until they do an act."

Harpham bought all three of his guns legally in 2009. It wasn't a crime for him to openly carry his AR-15 rifle on the streets of the city.

In fact, a neighbor called 911 just minutes before the first shooting to warn officers. She called again after the first victim, cyclist Andrew Meyer, was killed.

May says part of the problem is that the police didn't know what Harpham's family knew.

"Certainly there were other people who had more information about what his behavior was and it's just we need to be able to have a way to make those kind of reports in a way that protects the public."

The coroner found evidence of marijuana in the shooters system during autopsy but no other drugs were detected.

Investigators also found propane tanks and scrap wood that had been piled up inside his home suggesting that he had tried to intentionally set the building on fire.

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