Local law enforcement officers are investigating the murder of a transit officer that was fatally shot on Wednesday, February 1st as he was providing two women with information on how to catch the next light rail train.
According to several sources, the man identified himself as a “radical Muslim”. 37-year-old Joshua Cummings was carrying a backpack filled with jihadist materials at the time of his arrest, say Colorado authorities.
Scott Van Lanken, the victim, was wearing a dark blue uniform that closely resembled those worn by police officers and was armed at the time of the shooting. Because of his outfit, police Chief Robert White warned the transit security officer to remain vigilant as he could easily be mistaken for a police officer. Fortunately, the shooter was apprehended shortly after he committed the crime.
The official police report states that Scott Van Lanken was talking to two women who were afraid they had missed the last light rail train home. As he was providing them with information, one of the women noticed a man with weird looking eyes and swollen face walking up to the officer demanding him to comply as he was pointing a gun at him. After Cummings fired the handgun, he fled the scene. Nevertheless, by looking at surveillance footage captured by traffic cams, police quickly discovered the whereabouts of the attacker. He was traced back to a nearby apartment building. The law enforcement officers were able to retrieve the suspect’s 9mm handgun, as well.
Five years ago, Joshua Cummings was charged with misdemeanor out of state, says Barb Archer, police Commander. At this point, it is unclear whether he has a lawyer.
Multiple people have been questioned in relation to the attack on the transit officer, including the manager at the Holiday Motel, Gary Kim. He says the attacker had been living there for three weeks. Gary Kim says he had been in and out of his motel for the last months, leaving in November last year and returning in January.
In spite of the accusations, the motel manager described Joshua Cummings as a kind person, who offered to pay for other people’s rent on several occasions. He added the attacker shared his motel room with a woman and a child and nothing seemed out of the ordinary about him.
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