Just getting everyone up to date on the siege at Platte Canyon High School that left the gunman and one hostage dead…
“He did traumatise and assault our children – I’ll only say that it’s sexual in nature,” the sheriff said.
So not only was he a coward he was also a pervert.
The gunman who held hostages and shot and killed Platte Canyon High School student Emily Keyes before killing himself Wednesday has been identified as a 53-year-old transient named Duane Morrison.
The gunman shot Keyes once in the back of the head as she was fleeing from him after SWAT team members stormed the classroom where Morrison had barricaded himself, said Joe Morales, executive director for the Colorado Department of Public Safety. Then the gunman shot himself, he said.
“We firmly believe, without a shadow of a doubt, that the suspect was responsible for the death of the child,” Morales said.
Morales said the gunman had been living in his car and had a minor criminal record.
BAILEY, Colo. – As the hours dragged by and the gunman inside Platte Canyon High School released four hostages one by one, standing among the desperate parents was John Keyes, wondering about the fate of his 16-year-old daughter, Emily.
Louis Gonzalez, a spokesman for the family, said the father had just bought Emily and her twin brother cell phones for their 16th birthdays. As he stood near the school, he searched for a volunteer to send a text message to Emily.
“How are U?” it asked.
At 1:52 p.m., Emily messaged back: “I love U guys.”
Less than two hours later, Emily was dying from a gunshot wound to the back of her head delivered by the suicidal gunman as authorities stormed into the classroom. He died at the school and she was declared dead at a Denver hospital.
(CBS News) BAILEY, Colo. The gunman who killed a student and committed suicide during a high school standoff methodically selected six girls as hostages — apparently favoring blondes — and sexually assaulted at least some of them, authorities and witnesses said Thursday.
Sheriff Fred Wegener said the assaults went beyond touching or fondling.
“It was pretty horrific,” Wegener said, without elaborating.
Guns and mountains.
In the end, Duane Roger Morrison would combine both his passions – with horrific results.
The 53-year-old gunman invaded Platte Canyon High School on Wednesday, taking six female students hostage and ultimately murdering 16-year-old Emily Keyes before turning one of two guns on himself as SWAT officers stormed a classroom he turned into his bunker.
Morrison’s four hours of sudden and seemingly random violence ended his life, which had been devoid of a significant criminal history, although he was accused two years ago of threatening to settle a score with an assault rifle.
“I was very shocked and surprised” to learn of Morrison’s rampage, former neighbor Keith Hoagland said Thursday.
“He was kind of a quiet guy, and he pretty much kept to himself.”
Park County sheriff’s investigators have concluded that for a period of time immediately leading up to Wednesday’s rampage, Morrison had been living out of his vehicle.
On Nov. 22, 2004, Morrison allegedly called Rocky Mountain Harley Davidson in Littleton, according to court records, in an agitated state and complained about having received one of the business’s catalogs in the mail.
In a message left on the firm’s voice mail, Morrison “threatened to come to the store with an assault rifle to see if that would fix the situation,” according to court records.
Morrison reportedly had made earlier harassing calls, stemming from a complaint he had over service he’d received there.
“We took it seriously enough that we called the Littleton police, and they took it seriously, too,” store general manager Jay Seibel said.
Morrison was charged with harassment and subsequently was named in a fugitive warrant after failing to appear for a court date.
This past summer, on July 11, he was arrested on that warrant by Lakewood police at the Stonewall Motel on West Colfax Avenue and charged with obstructing justice for his failure to show up in court to respond to the harassment charge.
According to Littleton Municipal Court clerk Pat Spindler, Morrison pleaded guilty on Aug. 15, received a suspended nine-day jail term and was ordered not to return to Rocky Mountain Harley Davidson.
BAILEY, Colo. – The gunman who took six girls hostage in a high school classroom, killing one of them before taking his own life, sent his brother a long, rambling letter warning of his impending death, investigators said Friday.
“This is not a suicide note or a diary,” Park County Sheriff Fred Wegener said. “However, many times, the letter references suicide. This letter clearly acknowledges his pending death.
“It also apologizes to his family for his actions that will occur.”
The 14-page letter contains no reference to Platte Canyon High School or any school, nor is there a time reference, authorities said, leaving investigators without any known connection between Duane Morrison and this mountain town 35 miles southwest of Denver.
Morrison molested all six girls and sexually assaulted at least two of them before SWAT teams stormed into the classroom. During a gun battle with police, Morrison shot a 16-year-old girl in the head and fired at authorities, then killed himself.
Wegener earlier said that officials are checking a rumor that Morrison might have targeted his victims via the Web site myspace.com and looking at the pages for students at Platte Canyon High School.
Wegener on Thursday said Morrison might have had a list of victims.
“A male high school student was approached by a suspect (Wednesday) and asked about the identity of a list of female students,” Wegener said, later adding that he wasn’t sure if it was a written list or names rattled off by Morrison.
It was not disclosed whether the list included 16-year-old Emily Keyes, whom Morrison shot in the head as a SWAT team broke through the classroom door in a rescue attempt.
Thanks to Elessarion and Andrew for their help and tips.