Details are continuing to emerge about a gun rampage that took place in the streets of Colorado Springs on Saturday morning, in which 33-year-old Noah Harpham shot three people to death before police killed him in a shootout. On Monday, a troubling detail came to light in a Denver Post report suggesting that police may have had a chance to intervene before the slaughter began—but that a police dispatcher may have reacted without urgency to a 911 call about Harpham because of Colorado’s open carry law:
Witnesses watched in horror as Harpham picked his victims off. One of them, the bicyclist, pleaded for his life before being killed.
“I heard the (young man) say, ‘Don’t shoot me! Don’t shoot me!’ ” Naomi Bettis, a neighbor who witnessed the killing, said Monday.
Bettis said she recognized the gunman as her neighbor—whom she didn’t know by name—and that before the initial slaying she saw him roaming outside with a rifle. She called 911 to report the man, but a dispatcher explained that Colorado has an open carry law that allows public handling of firearms.