A US military officer who served with the Douglas County Gunman -the former now credited with killing one officer and injuring six other people- is completely unsurprised that the shooter finally “snapped.”
Leon Chamberlain, a former military officer who served in the Iraq War and is now a veteran counselor, said he saw the signs so long ago and had reached out to law enforcement previously.
“Was I surprised? No,” he said of the shooting. “I wouldn’t have made the contact I did with law enforcement here after the post came out.”
Riehl, who graduated with a law degree and was a practicing lawyer at one time, had also served as a medic in the 115th Fires Brigade of the Wyoming National Guard. It was during a 2009 tour in Iraq that Chamberlain had first met Riehl, when the veteran counselor had previously been working as a behavioral officer.
“I made an attempt to make contact with him. It resulted in some very inappropriate things and text messages,” Chamberlain told KRDO. He didn’t divulge what was inside those text messages but knew something was wrong.
When Chamberlain saw a string of threatening posts made by Riehl towards professors at the University of Wyoming (Riehl’s alma mater), he notified law enforcement.
The University of Wyoming Police and a law school dean from UW confirm that Riehl was a bit of a problem child.
On New Year’s Eve of 2017, Riehl prompted deputies to visit his house on the grounds of several calls concerning Riehl disturbing the peace in his apartment complex. One resident on the scene claimed the Iraq War veteran -who had reportedly seen no combat- was “acting bizarre and might be having a mental breakdown.”
When deputies came a second time, they were attacked, resulting in one deputy killed, four injured and two civilians wounded in the exchange.
The entire incident was caught on a Periscope recording, with Riehl telling officers to leave his apartment.
“What? Get the (expletive) out of here. … Get out! Leave me alone! Why are you here? You don’t have a warrant. Go away! Leave me alone!. Go! Get out!” he shouted as he shot at them.
“Somebody’s dead out there. You broke in, you’re dead,” he screamed. “I told you, where’s your warrant? Where’s your warrant?”
Despite Riehl’s behavior becoming somewhat concerning to friends and family in the months leading up to the deadly shooting, authorities were not notified.
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