FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – The lone survivor of Thursday’s ambush-style shooting near Colorado State University underwent two surgeries, according to classmates who know her.
Friends told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas the surviving victim is a University of Colorado student who was visiting one of her best friends when she was shot. CBS4 was asked not to release the surviving victim’s identity, until her family was prepared to address the shooting.
The surviving victim was in Fort Collins Wednesday to celebrate her friend Savannah McNealy’s birthday. Both attended Highlands Ranch High School.
McNealy was a CSU senior. With them were Air Force veterans Tristian Kemp and Michael Zamora.
Fort Collins Police told CBS4 all four were out together on McNealy’s birthday, Oct. 18. Kemp, McNealy and the surviving victim were given a ride to an apartment complex before 2 a.m. on Oct. 19 located one block west of the CSU dormitory towers.
Police said the trio was met with gunfire, coming from Zamora. Zamora killed McNealy and Kemp before taking his own life.
A motive for the shooting was not released by police. Police confirmed Zamora owned the handgun and two rifles found at the scene.
McNealy was an arts major at CSU, and a member of the student media graphic design team. University employees said McNealy also helped design the “Ram Walk” at CSU, a new tradition which leads the football team to the new on-campus stadium each game day.
Kemp’s family posted on Facebook, calling Zamora a “coward.” The family described Kemp as an “American hero” whom served several tours in Afghanistan.
Kemp, a native of Guam, had a GoFundMe page set up in his honor after the shooting. The family asked for $8,000 to help the family attend his funeral.
On Friday, CSU President Tony Frank addressed a large crowd at a memorial for McNealy. Frank told those in attendance he had also once experienced sudden tragedy.
“It is not given to us to see what’s around the next corner. Omniscience to prevent tragedy is not within our power,” Frank said. “That pain you all feel, that emptiness that seems without limit, will recede. What won’t recede is your memory of Savannah.”
Friends and family of Zamora were not available for comment. F.E. Warren Air Force Base officials in Wyoming confirmed he was stationed at their base.
Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.