DENVER (CBS4)– The man police believe shot a security guard in the head, killing him, appeared in court on Friday morning.
Joshua Cummings was advised of the first-degree murder charge in the death of Scott Von Lanken. Von Lanken was shot in the head about 11 p.m. Tuesday near Union Station at 16th and Wynkoop while trying to help two women with information about the light rail.
Cummings, 37, had his arms and legs shackled when he appeared before the judge. He has not been asked to enter a plea.
Cummings asked his lawyer for help getting a Quran and said that jail officials had been “dragging their feet.”
Denver District Attorney Beth McCann has not released what motive was behind the shooting. She also said the case has not been turned over to federal authorities.
“This was handled as a Denver first-degree murder case, it occurred in Denver, we believe it should be decided by a jury in Denver. It happened in a place where Denver citizens walk, live, everyday,” said McCann.
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.
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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