PUEBLO, Colo. (KDVR) — The Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 24-year-old Colorado State University student on Tuesday after a large number of guns and ammunition were found in his on-campus apartment and truck.
Detectives were informed on Monday that Robert Killis, who has past military experience, made threatening statements toward university staff and students. PCSO is responsible for the CSU Pueblo campus and weapons are illegal on campus in accordance with state law.
Witnesses told investigators they heard Killis “talk about buying body armor, semi-automatic rifles, shotguns and other guns and saying that he liked to kill people,” a release from PCSO said.
What police found
Detectives began monitoring Killis and discovered a bulletproof vest, a case large enough to hold a rifle or shotgun and ammunition box in plain sight in his 2020 Chevy Silverado.
After obtaining a search warrant and detaining Killis, he told deputies he did not have any weapons on him but admitted to having several in his truck. A loaded semi-automatic rifle, a shotgun and a handgun along with several loaded high-capacity magazines and a full ammunition box and tactical gear were found in his truck. Another 100 rounds of ammunition, handgun and other suspicious items were found at his residence, PCSO said.
“Out of an overabundance of caution, there will be an added law enforcement presence at the university and our deputies will be available to address any concerns from students and faculty,”
Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor said. “We continue to encourage anyone who sees or hears anything suspicious or threatening that involves an educational setting to report it immediately.”
How the university responded
CSU-Pueblo sent a message to the school community about Killis’ arrest.
“CSU Pueblo received information from the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office that threats were made by Killis,” the university stated. “He is not permitted on campus and is considered dangerous. Do not attempt to make contact with him if you see him on campus. There will be increased law enforcement presence at CSU Pueblo.”
The school noted that counseling for students is available by contacting the CSU-Pueblo Counseling Center at 719-549-2838, which is available 24/7.
‘What if nobody reported it?’
Tamara Yost of Greeley said her daughter is a freshman at CSU-Pueblo and lives in a dorm near Killis’ apartment. Yost was immediately concerned for her daughter’s safety when she heard about the arrest.
“How do we keep them safe? What if nobody reported it? You can’t ‘what if’ your whole life over everything, that’s not a way to live, but what if nobody reported it and he used all of that?” Yost said.
Investigators did not say whether they believe Killis was planning an attack on the university
Private investigator James Allbee said the information released so far shows Killis was prepared.
“This is obviously something he’d been thinking about and actually taken more of an action to that plan, and was actually starting to put that plan into motion,” Allbee said.
Allbee said this case highlights the importance of reporting suspicious behavior.
“From a law enforcement standpoint, it’s much better to say something and have it be nothing than to say nothing and have it be something. Law enforcement would much rather go out on these calls and find out that’s there’s nothing to it than for one person not to say something and then we’re looking at a mass casualty shooting,” Allbee said.