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Fatal Shooting : Gunman in Colorado shootings that left 3 others dead ID'd by police

Gunman in Colorado shootings that left 3 others dead ID'd by police.

The man who fatally shot three people during a rampage through the streets of
Colorado Springs was a recovering alcoholic who posted an online video two days
earlier expressing displeasure with his father for allegedly falling under the
sway of a particular preacher — but gave no indication of the violence to come.


Authorities on Monday identified the gunman as 33-year-old Noah Jacob
Harpham, who lived just steps from where his first victim was slain on Saturday.


Witnesses said Harpham had a rifle in one hand and a revolver in the other
when he first killed a bicyclist. He then calmly walked less than a mile and
fatally shot two women on the porch of a sobriety house. Harpham was then killed
in a gunbattle with police.


A motive for the downtown shootings in broad daylight was unknown, and
Harpham left few clues in blog posts and on social media.


His mother, Heather Kopp, a freelance writer living in New York, described
his longtime struggle with addiction in Sober mercies: How love caught up
with a Christian Drunk
, a book also about her own battle with alcoholism.


  The Colorado Springs Police Department released this
photo Monday of Noah Jacob Harpham, the suspect in the shootings Saturday.
(Colorado Springs Police Department via AP)


Authorities have not said whether there was any link between his substance
abuse problems and the fact that two of his victims were women who themselves
were in addiction recovery.


Colorado Springs police released no new details about the shooting but
identified the victims late Monday as Andrew Alan Myers, 35; Jennifer Michelle
Vasquez, 42; and Christina Rose Baccus-Gallela, 34. The El Paso County sheriff's
office said four officers fired at Harpham but that they were not wearing body
cameras, and their squad cars were not equipped with dashboard cameras.



Pikes Peak forms a backdrop Monday for a memorial to the victims of Saturday's shootings in downtown Colorado Springs, Colo. (Mark Reis/The Gazette via AP)

A fuller picture of Harpham emerged in details from his mother's book, in
which she described him as "introverted and moody" and turning to drugs and
alcohol around the time he gave up on college. Kopp said Harpham, who was living
in Eugene, Oregon at the time, "struggled just to live and keep a job." His
family was so worried about him that they staged a "mini intervention," but
their efforts failed.


He completed a three-month program in California, but drank on his first
night out, Kopp said.


"Noah loved and hated all of us in equal measure," she wrote. "In Noah's
mind, he was the loser child, the burnt piece of toast in the bunch."


During a visit to his family's Colorado Springs home years ago, he drank too
much, became angry and "exploded," Kopp said. His mood had become "so toxic it
was scary."


His mother and stepfather urged Harpham to move in with them. In Colorado
Springs, she said, he found work as an insurance agent and met with an
Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor regularly.


His mother wrote that he seemed to improve under their roof and eventually
moved into his own place. She said he began helping other addicts.


In a YouTube video posted Thursday, Harpham questioned what he called his
father's involvement with the Rev. Bill Johnson and the Bethel Church in
Redding, California. The church is part of a stream of Pentecostalism that
heavily emphasizes signs of God's miracles and revelations in modern-day life,
along with supernatural healing. Johnson and his church have come under
criticism from conservative Christians who say Johnson promotes teachings far
beyond the boundaries of mainstream Christianity.


Efforts to reach Harpham's father, Thomas, and officials with the Bethel
Church by telephone on Monday weren't immediately successful.


Kopp and other relatives did not return messages seeking comment. Benjamin
Broadbent, lead minister of the First Congregational Church of Colorado Springs,
released a statement he said was provided by Harpham's family, saying they were
shocked and saddened and requesting privacy.


Harpham first shot Vasquez, who was sitting outside the house, causing
Galella to open the front door to see what was going on, said Galella's uncle,
Chris Bowman.


The white picket fence in front of the house was riddled with bullet holes on
Monday.


Neighbor Teresa Willingham said the third victim, Myers, was a bicyclist who
begged for his life as the gunman continued to fire. 
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