Police fatally shot a man carrying a machete inside the Champions Center at the University of Colorado’s Folsom Field Wednesday morning after police say the man refused to drop the weapon, the Daily Camera reports.
Police were alerted of the man by text message at 9:15 a.m. Mountain Time. He was was reported as being “menacing” with a machete, Boulder Police spokesman Scott Pribble said in a news briefing, according to CBS. Boulder police and CU police responded to the Champions Center.
Around 9:20 a.m., police reported “shots fired” and police reported that the suspect was down, The Denver Post reports. Police said they ordered the suspect to drop his weapon and he wouldn’t do so.
“We just know that he was directed to put the weapon down and refused, and it was at that time, for public safety, that we believe the shots were fired,” Pribble said.
According to the Daily Camera, police believe the incident began with an altercation in the parking area outside the Champions Center, where the suspect was brandishing the machete at someone, after which he went inside the Center.
The suspect was reported to have been a white male who appeared to be a “religious zealot” and had been overheard talking about “looking for sinners,” the Daily Camera reports. The suspect had also written religious messages on cars in the parking lot.
The police had scheduled a news briefing for 2:30 p.m. Mountain Time to update the investigation, but the briefing was delayed due to reports of an active shooter at the student union on campus, the Denver Post reports.
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According to the CU Police Department, the 911 calls about the active shooter were determined to be a hoax—but not before causing confusion and fear among students, Fox 31 reports. At about 2:40 p.m. Mountain Time, officials said, “No current threats to campus. UMC & Champions Center closed rest of day for investigations. Classes & campus operations continue as normal.”