Deadly Church Shooting Suspect Has Long Criminal Record
AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– The man who shot and killed the pastor’s mother outside a church in Aurora on Sunday had a long criminal record.
After he gunned down Josephine Echols at New Destiny Christian Center, Kiarron Parker was shot and killed by an off duty police officer from Denver who happened to be at the church.
That officer is Antonio Milow, Echols nephew. Milow is a 6-year veteran with the Denver Police Department.
Parker had a lengthy past including arrests for drugs in Colorado. He also spent time behind bars in Oklahoma for assaulting a peace officer and burglary. Parker was released early in November 2011.
According to police records, during an incident in 2009 Parker smoked marijuana laced with PCP, crashed a car and spent the night in jail. After he was released, Parker became paranoid and broke into a home, stripped naked and jumped out a window.
“We don’t know why the gunman did this, all the witnesses we’ve talked to said the gunman made no comments whatsoever,” said Aurora Police Officer Frank Fania.
Police said a friend was with Parker near the church when his behavior changed and he jumped in his car and sped away. Moments later he crashed into a car outside the church and began shooting a few minutes later.
His friend isn’t sure what set Parker off.
“He was a little confused as to why Mr. Parker took off in the first place so agitated, he has no idea what led up to that,” said Fania.
The victim’s son, Pastor DeLono Straham, met with police Tuesday. Detectives said they believe the shooting was random. They also believe Parker may have been under the influence of drugs.
“Some drug usage involved which would be consistent with that type of erratic behavior,” said Straham.
Police in Aurora are waiting for toxicology test results to determine whether Parker was under the influence of drugs at the time of the deadly shooting.