A potentially catastrophic incident was narrowly averted at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Colorado when a heavily armed man, suspected of planning a “heinous” attack, was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound near a ride. The discovery was made after a maintenance worker at the amusement park alerted authorities in a 911 call on Saturday morning.
According to reports, 20-year-old Diego Barajas Medina’s body was found in the women’s bathroom at a ride called the Crystal Tower. The room was surrounded by an arsenal of weapons and alcohol. On the bathroom wall, a chilling message was scrawled: “I am not a killer, I just wanted to get into the caves.” The grim scene raised questions about the man’s motives and intentions, leaving authorities puzzled.
Despite exhaustive investigations, no concrete evidence has been released detailing the specifics of Medina’s plans when he entered the park via a private service road in the hours before it opened over the weekend. Remarkably, Medina had no known criminal history, leaving investigators baffled about his sudden and alarming actions.
Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario revealed that Medina was armed with various weapons and explosive devices, including an AR-style rifle, a handgun, and both real and fake explosives. Additionally, he was found wearing body armor and tactical clothing akin to those worn by police SWAT team members. “He was well intended to do something very heinous,” Sheriff Vallario commented, underscoring the gravity of the situation.
Although Medina was not employed at Glenwood Caverns, authorities are diligently working to ascertain if he had any other connection to the amusement park. Efforts to reach out to his family for insights into his motivations have so far been unsuccessful.
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, situated atop a mountain above the Colorado River in western Colorado, boasts a variety of attractions, including cave tours, a roller coaster, and a pendulum swing ride. The incident occurred at the Crystal Tower, an underground drop ride allowing visitors to plunge deep into Iron Mountain to witness a crystal grotto.
The park, surrounded by state-owned public land, emphasizes its commitment to security, with an extensive network of fencing, gates, security cameras, and alarms protecting rides, restricted areas, and sensitive buildings. Despite this robust security infrastructure, the incident involving Medina did not occur in any of these protected areas, as clarified by park representatives.
As authorities continue to investigate this chilling incident, the community remains grateful for the vigilance of the park’s staff and the rapid response of law enforcement, preventing what could have been a devastating tragedy at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park.