DENVER (KDVR) — A man who was found dead inside Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park was heavily armed and wearing body armor.
According to the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, on Saturday morning, deputies were notified of a man who was found dead inside the park. His body was discovered before the park’s opening, and deputies said it was not related to any of the rides.
“When I first saw this, it was definitely a realization that this type of danger has come to quiet Glenwood Springs, Colorado — rural Colorado, rural America,” Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario said.
The man illegally entered the park after hours when no employees or guests were around, according to the sheriff’s office.
Deputies continued their investigation over the weekend and identified the man as a 20-year-old from the Carbondale area. He was initially said to be 22 years old, but investigators corrected that in a news conference Monday afternoon.
Man dressed in tactical clothing
The man was found dressed in black-colored tactical clothing, bearing patches and emblems that gave the appearance of someone with law enforcement. He was also heavily armed with a semi-automatic rifle, semi-automatic handgun and multiple loaded magazines. He was also wearing body armor and a ballistic helmet, according to the sheriff’s office.
“Speaking with family and doing a search of his room at his home, we don’t see any history,” Vallario said. “We don’t see any reason. We don’t see any motive. He was just completely under the radar, to the best of my knowledge at this point.”
The man, who investigators believe died by suicide, also had multiple improvised explosive devices with him and inside his vehicle.
“Fortunately, for whatever reason, we may never know — although he was very highly prepared, very highly weaponized, he chose not to take advantage of any of that,” Vallario said.
Following the investigation, several members of the bomb squad swept the grounds of the adventure park to ensure no other explosive devices were planted around the park or rides.
“Some of those explosive devices were fake, but some of those explosive devices were also real. So that kind of changed the entire scenario of what we were facing,” Vallario said.
The sheriff’s office said the investigation found no members of the public were at risk.
Glenwood Caverns responds
Glenwood Caverns’ general manager released a statement about the incident.
“This very sad and tragic incident reminds us how much our Glenwood Springs community means to us,” Glenwood Caverns general manager Nancy Heard said in a statement emailed to FOX31. “We appreciate the swift action and thorough work of the Garfield County Sherriff’s Department and Coroner’s Office, as well as the Garfield County All Hazard Response Team and other authorities assisting in the investigation, working together to ensure the park is safe to reopen. Thank you for all you do.”
There has been no further information on how the man died.
“While this investigation is still ongoing and very active, it is important to realize that given the amount of weaponry, ammunition, and explosive devices found, the suspect could have implemented an attack of devastating proportions upon our community and first responders,” said the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office in a release.
The Garfield County coroner will release the identity of the suspect at a later date.
FOX31’s Nicole Fierro contributed reporting.