Officials ID man shot in machete incident at CU Boulder as 28-year-old from Thornton

The Boulder County Coroner’s Office Thursday night identified the suspect fatally shot by police at the University of Colorado as Brandon Simmons, 28, of Thornton, according to the Daily Camera. CU Spokesman Ryan Huff said Simmons was never a CU student or a member of faculty or staff.

Police confronted Simmons, who was armed with a machete, Wednesday morning at the Champions Center near Folsom Field on the CU-Boulder campus. Simmons had followed a clinic patient of the building up the stairs and inside. Simmons died after police confronted him on a stairwell and shot him after he failed to comply with commands to drop his weapon, police said.

Simmons was a Marine who was discharged in May, and a U.S. Marine Corps official said his rank at the time of discharge indicated that his character was not in line with the organization’s standards, the Camera reported.

Simmons is white and has been described as a “religious zealot of some kind” who was “looking for sinners,” the Camera reported.

The CU-Boulder Police Department said at a press conference Wednesday that it did not know if officers had non-lethal alternatives with them at the time, but believes that they were in a justified deadly force situation. CUPD Chief Melissa Zak said the use of force was in “best interest” due to the suspect’s weapon, statements he made and the way he was “maneuvering” through the building, according to the Daily Camera.

Contact CU Independent Copy Editor Jordyn Siemens at and on Twitter @Jordyn_Siemens.

Contact CU Independent Editorial Manager Ellis Arnold at and on Twitter at @ArnoldEllis_.


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