Capitol reopens after man calling himself the emperor shot dead | PostIndependent.com
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Capitol reopens after man calling himself the emperor shot dead

CATHERINE TSAIAssociated Press WriterGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

DENVER (AP) Somber state employees reported for work at the state Capitol Tuesday, a day after an armed man who said he was the emperor was shot and killed outside the governors office.Under the watchful eyes of state troopers and Capitol guards, workers filed into the buildings lower-level north door and through a single metal detector installed Monday evening after the shooting.Metal detectors had been put in place at the Capitol after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks but were removed the following summer. Lawmakers, who often call the Capitol the peoples building, said at the time they did not want to make it hard for the public to visit.Gov. Bill Ritter, who was in his office at the time of the shooting but was not injured, said officials would review whether and how Capitol security should be changed.We live in a country where there is just that constant tension about security versus openness, he said.The gunman was shot at about 2 p.m. Monday by a state trooper in Ritters security detail. Police had not released the mans name.The man said before he was shot, I am the emperor and Im here to take over state government, said Evan Dreyer, the governors spokesman.He was wearing a dark suit some described as a tuxedo. About three hours earlier, a man with a gun and knife in his pockets had gone into a suburban Northglenn shop and rented a tuxedo, saying it was the day of the emperors reign.Northglenn police said it may have been the same man. They also said in a statement that family members and an employer told investigators the man at the store was possibly delusional.Denver police declined to discuss the tuxedo shop encounter Tuesday.Denver officers conducted a search late Monday at a home of a couple believed to be the suspects parents. Investigators said they knew the mans name but did not release it.Property records listed the owners as Richard and Kathie Snyder. Officers said the couple was not at home Tuesday.Neighbor Mary Annunziato said the Snyders son, Aaron, also lived in the house. Police have declined to say whether they believe Aaron Snyder was the man killed at the Capitol.Annunziato said Aaron Snyder was kind and loving but was not well. She declined to elaborate on his condition.Aaron, he never exhibited any aggressive behavior. He was kind, I would almost say docile, Annunziato said.Officers remained on guard at the home, a neatly kept brick and wood structure with a three-car garage.The man had walked into the reception area of Ritters first-floor office and was being escorted out before he produced a gun and refused orders to put it down, police spokesman Sonny Jackson said. Four or five shots were heard, but authorities would not say how many times the patrolman fired.The man did not fire his weapon, Jackson said, declining to say if it was loaded.Jackson said Tuesday investigators had not released any information about the caliber or make of the mans gun, or who owned it.An autopsy was planned later Tuesday. Chief Deputy Coroner Michelle Weiss-Samaras said it could take about two weeks to get the results of some tests.Ritter said he was in the office with 10 or 11 other people and heard shots, but he would not say how close he was to the gunman. He said some of his staff members witnessed the shooting.Tobie Locke, a bridal manager at the Mister Neats shop in Northglenn, said a man came in around 10 a.m. asking to rent a tuxedo and said, when asked about the occasion, Todays the day of the emperors reign.After renting the tux, the man did not say where he was going.He was very nervous and sweating a lot and breathing very heavy, Locke said. I had the impression he was going to hurt somebody.Authorities said there had been no specific threats against the governor before Mondays shooting, which reinvigorated a debate about metal detectors at the Capitol.State Rep. Jim Kerr, one of the first people to pass through the newly installed metal detector on Tuesday, said the State Patrol had done a wonderful job and argued the detector should be temporary.This is the peoples building. However, if we have another incident like this, I dont think well have a choice. Well have to make it permanent, he said.State Rep. Edward Casso, who said he saw the gunmans body after the shooting, said he believes the Capitol should have metal detectors.Its kind of freaky someone could get that close, Casso said.Associated Press writers Steven K. Paulson, Don Mitchell, Sandy Shore and Colleen Slevin and AP photographer David Zalubowski contributed to this report.


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