By Rick Sallinger
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– The 37-year-old suspect in the murder of a RTD guard is scheduled to appear in Denver District Court on Friday morning.
On Thursday afternoon, Denver police released the mug shot of Joshua Cummings taken shortly after his arrest.
He had been staying with his wife and child for the past three weeks at The Holiday Motel in Englewood.
The FBI searched the motel room. Among the items visible outside the room were a chain saw and a bag of plant potting mix.
Although federal authorities assisted in the investigation, murder charges will be filed in the state court system.
It was about 11 p.m. Tuesday when police say Cummings approached a uniformed RTD security guard near Union Station.
A probable cause statement filed says witnesses told police they heard the words, “Do what you are told” then almost immediately heard a gunshot and saw the suspect run away.
Cummings, a Muslim convert was praying during his arrest according to sources in the case.
The motive for the shooting at this point is speculated to be Cummings’ dislike for police. It is believed by authorities that he acted alone.
Leaders of a Denver-area mosque notified law enforcement after Cummings began showing signs of radicalization. Representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s office and other agencies had been working to establish a relationship of cooperation with area mosques and the Islamic Community.
On his Twitter account, Cummings wrote anti-police messages including that a former cop should be put to death and he also wrote religious messages like, “I seek refuge in the one God from the evils of Satan, and I begin in the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful.”
The victim of the shooting was Scott Von Lanken. His wife Shellie told CBS4, “He loved the job, the guys he was working with, he loved listening to the guys on the streets, the homeless people.”
Besides working as a security officer, Von Laken was a pastor in Loveland. His funeral is scheduled to take place 10:30 a.m. Monday at Resurrection Fellowship, 6502 E. Crossroads Blvd. in Loveland.
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