Home / Top Story / Colo. gunman Matthew Riehl escaped from psych ward in 2014

Colo. gunman Matthew Riehl escaped from psych ward in 2014

The disturbed gunman who killed a sheriff’s deputy in Colorado this week had temporarily broke out of a veterans psych ward a few years ago, according to a report.

Matthew Riehl left the Sheridan, Wyo., mental health facility in April 2014, according to a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs report recently given to Congress.

The report, obtained by ABC affiliate KMGH, said the escape came during his stay over several weeks at the Wyoming center.

It didn’t elaborate on what problems plagued the Iraq War veteran, who died Sunday after a standoff with a SWAT team.

Colo. killer live-streamed shooting of sheriff’s deputies

Riehl was quickly found after the 2014 escape and placed on a 72-hour hold, the document showed.

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), whose district includes the scene of Sunday’s deadly shootout, told KMGH he’s contacted the VA for more information about Riehl’s escape.

Parrish, who was killed in the shooting, will be laid to rest Friday.

Parrish, who was killed in the shooting, will be laid to rest Friday.

(Douglas County Sheriff’s Office)

Fresh details have continued trickling out about Riehl, who shot five lawmen Sunday morning at the Copper Canyon Apartments in Highlands Ranch — killing Douglas County Deputy Sheriff Zackari Parrish.

He also shot two civilians, who suffered non-life-threatening wounds.

Colorado gunman subject of warning issued two months earlier

Riehl, who live-streamed his subsequent standoff with police, was killed a firefight.

Two months before, he rambled on social media about the University of Wyoming, where he graduated from law school in 2010.

Although the messages weren’t all that clear, they were enough to alert students at the Laramie school to be aware of his potential presence on campus.


Police are still investigating what sparked the deadly shooting at the Copper Canyon Apartments.

(Denver Channel)

Assistant College of Law Dean Lindsay Hoyt on Nov. 6 emailed students with a photo of Riehl along with his vehicle.

Five Colorado officers shot, one fatally, in ‘ambush-type’ attack

Anyone who spotted Riehl should’ve immediately called the cops, Hoyt advised students.

A Wyoming National Guard representative previously told CNN that Riehl was part of the service from 2006 to 2012.

He did a one-year deployment to Iraq beginning in 2009, the spokesperson added, and was honorably discharged more than five years ago.

What prompted Riehl to fire on cops hasn’t been fully discovered, but he posted a series of videos complaining about his “domestic partner” as well as Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock.

Parrish, 29, was a married father with two young children. His funeral is scheduled for Friday morning.

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