Diego Barajas Medina: Tragic Incident at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office said that 20-year-old Diego Barajas Medina was found dead inside Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park before its Saturday morning opening. Little is known about his reasons, but plenty is known about his acts.

Medina carried a bulletproof vest, AR-type rifle, semi-automatic handgun, ammunition, and multiple magazines. He also carried explosives and police enforcement patches on his black military gear. Law enforcement investigations indicate that Medina quietly gathered firearms and explosives without indicating any violent plans.

The young man’s motives and the events that led to Medina’s death are unclear to authorities and the community. Brother says armed man found dead at Colorado theme park was reclusive but ‘not dangerous’

Brother says armed man found dead at Colorado theme park was reclusive but ‘not dangerous’

According to his older brother, the highly armed guy who killed himself rather than commit a mass killing at a Colorado amusement park was a recluse gamer fascinated with “Call of Duty” but not “dangerous.”

David Barajas Medina, 27, told NBC News that he did not think his 20-year-old brother intended to hurt anyone.

Police recognized Diego as the guy whose corpse was found in a women’s toilet at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park Saturday next to a strange inscription on the wall: “I am not a killer, I just wanted to get into the caves.”

According to Garfield County Coroner Robert Glassmire, he self-shot himself in the head.

“I didn’t think he was dangerous,” David remarked. “I’m not sure what he was trying.”


According to his brother, the younger Barajas Medina would play video games every night in their two-bedroom Carbondale, Colorado, apartment with their mother.

“He wouldn’t talk to any of us,” David said of his “quiet person” sibling.

The 20-year-old may have been depressed after losing his Family Dollar job a year earlier and struggling financially.

Diego was reselling stuff on Amazon to pay rent, but his brother reported he was overdue. 

He played “Call of Duty” every night and went to bed at 6 a.m.

Diego “seemed normal,” according to David, despite his unorthodox lifestyle.

The amusement park was closed when Diego Barajas Medina entered with an AR-style rifle, a semi-automatic handgun, and genuine and fake explosives, wearing body armor and SWAT-style dark tactical attire.

His brother stated Diego “always wanted to be a police officer” and had many pistols and a tactical vest.

On Monday, Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario claimed Diego had not shown any signs of plotting an assault.

Vallario said, “Given the preparation, given the amount of weapons and ordinance he had, it almost seemed very highly likely he intended to use those against the community.” He declined.”

The ghost guns found on Barajas Medina were untraceable.

His clothes contained police-style insignia and badges.

Diego’s car had multiple IEDs, authorities said.

Several hand grenade-looking IEDs were phony.

The sheriff claimed Diego’s room, which he shared with his older brother, did not contain explosives or bomb-making, and he had no criminal past or police confrontations.

David said investigators took Medina’s cell phone, which he left at home, and a box under his bed that may have held his firearms.

Medina’s phone records and social media posts will be investigated by the FBI.

Suspect’s death cause and manner pending autopsy

The official cause and manner of Diego Barajas Medina’s death are awaiting determination through the upcoming autopsy by the Garfield County coroner, as outlined in the release. USA TODAY has initiated contact with the coroner’s office to obtain further details on this aspect.

Additionally, as mentioned in the release, it seems that Medina utilized a vehicle to access the park before his entry. Investigators are diligently verifying that none of the rides, equipment, or on-site structures and facilities at the park have been tampered with, ensuring the overall safety and integrity of the park’s infrastructure.

One man “under the radar” collected guns and explosives.

The sheriff notes that initial conversations with family and friends discovered no signs of a violent plan by the deceased. The man lived with his mother and brother in Carbondale, a half-hour drive from Glenwood Springs, and had no criminal record or speeding tickets.

The sheriff said, “We don’t uncover any history or explanation after talking his relatives and examining his room. We see no purpose. He was utterly covert.” More interviews with classmates and teachers are planned to determine the individual’s motivations.

A high school acquaintance, who requested anonymity, described Barajas Medina as quiet and friendly. No mental health issues were reported, even though the friend hadn’t spoken for two years. The friend said, “He was more isolating himself.”

Barajas Medina, known as “Barajas,” planned to take a gap year and attend Colorado Mountain College in his yearbook. He didn’t enroll after high school. Roaring Fork School District certified his 2021 graduation.

Colorado Mountain collegiate reported that Barajas Medina took collegiate classes from August 2019 to May 2020. Roaring Fork High School offers college-level courses to high school students. Interestingly, he did not go college after high school.

The individual’s “ghost guns”—an AR-style rifle and a semi-automatic handgun—are also under investigated. The current investigation focuses on these untraceable handmade weapons, frequently constructed from kits or 3D printed.

Body found in women’s restroom

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, nestled on a mountainside near Glenwood Springs in Colorado’s high country, is currently closed for the season with lifts not in operation. To access the park, visitors typically use a gondola. However, the man in question seemingly drove up a service road, parked his car, and trespassed into the park.

The discovery was made by a maintenance crew in a women’s restroom, where the man’s body was found. On the wall of a stall, the chilling words “I am not a killer” were scrawled. Notably, there was no accompanying note or letter near the body.

Dressed in black attire and a ballistic vest, the man bore a striking resemblance to a member of a police SWAT team or a military unit. Sheriff Vallario expressed the sobering realization that such a threat had reached the tranquil community of Glenwood Springs, emphasizing that, while the individual was extensively armed and prepared, he ultimately opted, for reasons that may never be fully understood, to take his own life.

Bombs exploded during amusement park inspection.

For two days, the residents of Glenwood Springs remained largely unaware of a potentially grave situation in their community. While the sheriff’s office did issue a tweet alerting the public to “Heavy police activity at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park” and advising people to stay away, the full extent of the danger was not immediately disclosed.

Some concerned residents reported hearing an explosion on the mountain. Sheriff Vallario, in a candid Q&A session with reporters, clarified that the Grand Junction Bomb Squad had detonated one of the explosives discovered in the man’s car or near his body.

The explosives brought to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park included pipe bombs, fake IEDs, a package containing a real explosive device, and imitation grenades. The sheriff highlighted the meticulous and cautious approach taken during the investigation, emphasizing the uncertainty surrounding the authenticity of the threats and the need to ensure the safety of the park and its visitors.

The man, not affiliated with the park and lacking any apparent special ties to it, was not an employee. The amusement park, featuring rides and cave tours, is scheduled to reopen in mid-November for the winter season.

General Manager Nancy Heard expressed gratitude for the swift and thorough efforts of the Garfield County Sheriff’s Department, Coroner’s Office, Garfield County All Hazard Response Team, and other collaborating authorities in ensuring the safety of the park before its reopening.

911 call indicates man accused of attacking Glenwood Springs amusement park found dead near ride.

A message saying, “I am not a killer, I just wanted to get into the caves,” was written on the wall of the bathroom where Diego Barajas Medina’s body was found.

The body of a heavily armed man who authorities suspected was planning a “heinous” attack at a mountaintop amusement park in Colorado was discovered with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the bathroom at a building that houses a ride that drops 110-feet deep into caverns, according to a 911 call released Wednesday.

A Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park maintenance worker can be heard in the Saturday morning call calmly telling a dispatcher that the body was surrounded by weapons and alcohol in the women’s bathroom at a ride called the Crystal Tower.

No evidence has been released by authorities detailing exactly what the 20-year-old man had planned when he entered the park via a private service road in the hours before it opened over the weekend. Medina had no known prior criminal history, according to authorities.

What Vallario said?

But Vallario said that weapons and ordnance found on Medina and in his car — including an AR-style rifle, a handgun and an assortment of real and fake explosive devices — made it “very highly likely” that he intended to use them against members of the community. Medina also was wearing body armor and tactical clothing, similar to what a police SWAT team member might wear, authorities said.

What sheriff said?

“He was well intended to do something very heinous,” the sheriff said.

Medina was never employed at Glenwood Caverns, according to park representatives. Authorities were trying to determine if he had any other connection to the amusement park, sheriff’s office spokesperson Walt Stowe said.

Police in nearby Carbondale said they had made no service calls to an apartment where public records show Medina lived. He had taken classes at Colorado Mountain College as a high school student and expressed a plan to enroll at the college but never did, according to the college.

Efforts to reach Medina’s family for comment have been unsuccessful.

The amusement park is surrounded by state-owned public land on a mountain above the Colorado River in western Colorado. It features cave tours, a roller coaster and a pendulum swing ride perched on the edge of a cliff that sends riders over the river canyon. Its website advertises the Crystal Tower as an “underground drop ride” where visitors can drop deep into Iron Mountain to view a “crystal grotto.”

Park representatives said in a Monday statement that Glenwood Caverns has an extensive network of fencing, gates, security cameras and alarms to protect rides, ride-restricted areas and sensitive buildings. The park said “the incident on October 28 did not take place in any of these areas and was not related to any rides or attractions.”

The park repeated that statement Wednesday evening in response to questions about the 911 call. A recording of the call was released to The Associated Press under a public records request.

FAQs about diego barajas medina

1. Who is Diego Barajas Medina?

Diego Barajas Medina, 20, was found dead at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park in Colorado. A gun and bomb arsenal was found on his body.

2. How was Diego Barajas Medina found?

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park maintenance found Diego Barajas Medina dead in a women’s restroom. He suffered a self-inflicted head gunshot wound when found before the park opened.

3. What weapons and explosives did Diego Barajas Medina have?

Diego Barajas Medina had an AR-type rifle, a semi-automatic handgun, a bulletproof vest, ammunition, magazines, and real and fake explosives. Guns without serial numbers were called ghost guns.

4. What was the message left by Diego Barajas Medina?

The women’s restroom wall where Diego’s body was found had a mysterious message. It said “I am not a killer, I just wanted to get into the caves.”

5. Did Diego Barajas Medina intend to attack?

Authorities believe Diego Barajas Medina was well-prepared and equipped, prompting suspicions that he planned a violent attack. However, his intentions are unknown.

6. What was Diego Barajas Medina’s background?

Francisco Barajas Medina was a recluse gamer who loved “Call of Duty.” After losing his Family Dollar job a year earlier, he resold stuff on Amazon.

7. Does Diego Barajas Medina have a criminal record?

Diego Barajas Medina had no criminal record and no prior indicators of aggressive intent, according to sources.

8. How is the investigation?

Diego Barajas Medina’s death is under investigation. His phone records and social media posts are being examined by the FBI to determine his reasons.

9. Was Diego Barajas Medina connected to Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park?

The amusement park did not employ Diego Barajas Medina, and he has no obvious ties to it. Investigations are underway to find connections.

10. What safety steps has Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park taken?

A: The park has assured the public of its safety and thanked law enforcement for its quick response. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is closed for the season, and authorities are securing it.

Final Words

The community and investigators are still puzzled by Diego Barajas Medina’s terrible tragedy at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. Diego, 20, a video game fan and financial struggler, was found dead with a terrifying array of guns and explosives.

The lavatory wall’s cryptic inscription, “I am not a killer, I just wanted to get into the caves,” adds to Diego’s enigma. The discovery of ghost firearms, an AR-type rifle, a semi-automatic handgun, and real and fake explosives raises community fears about his threat.

Diego’s secluded lifestyle, financial problems, and law enforcement obsession complicate his aims. Investigators wonder what drove his highly prepared and militarized state on that tragic day given his modest personality and lack of criminal background.

The FBI is investigating Diego Barajas Medina’s motivations by reviewing phone data and social media posts. The community is on edge as authorities investigate his self-inflicted death.

As the tragedy unfolds, it highlights the complexities of mental health, personal challenges, and the possibility for unexpected threats in seemingly ordinary people. Understanding what caused this upsetting tragedy and safeguarding community safety are now priorities.

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