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Grandfather says slain Colorado Springs bicyclist was Iraq War veteran

November 4, 2015 Updated: November 4, 2015 at 3:08 pm
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photo - Andrew Alan Myers is shown holding his two sons, now 11 and 13 years old, in this family photograph. They live with their mother, Tina Myers, in Ohio. (Courtesy Tina Myers)
Andrew Alan Myers is shown holding his two sons, now 11 and 13 years old, in this family photograph. They live with their mother, Tina Myers, in Ohio. (Courtesy Tina Myers) 

The bicyclist killed Saturday in a shooting spree across downtown Colorado Springs was an Iraq War veteran who made the city his home after serving at Fort Carson, his grandfather said Tuesday.

Andrew Alan Myers was the first person gunned down in the rampage, which also left two women dead before police fatally wounded the gunman during a shootout in a Wendy's parking lot.

The shooting left Myers' family in shock.

"That was a damned shame," said Samuel F. Myers, the bicyclist's grandfather. "There's a boy, a young man that served three tours of duty in Iraq, and then came home and got shot riding his bicycle down the street.

"Doesn't add up, does it?"

A witness saw Myers ride his bike onto Prospect Street moments after the gunman, Noah Harpham, 33, walked out of his house armed with a rifle and a handgun.

Harpham turned, took aim at Myers and fired - just as the bicyclist yelled "Don't shoot me! Don't shoot me!"

Myers' body came to a rest mere feet from Harpham's house, while the gunman continued his rampage west along Platte Avenue, the witness said. Two women, Christy Galella, 34, and Jennifer Vasquez, 42, were shot to death outside the Platte House, a sober living home for women where, relatives said, the women were turning their lives around.

Andrew Myers, 35, had two sons, 11 and 13 years old. He had served in the Army and decided to stay in Colorado Springs after being stationed at Fort Carson, his grandfather said.

He grew up in northern Ohio, spending most of his time outdoors in the woods surrounding his childhood home in Kirtland, Ohio, near the shores of Lake Erie.

His father, Samuel A. Myers, was a groundskeeper in the Holden Arboretum - a 750-acre wooded property that doubled as the younger Myers' playground.

When not there, the boy had adventures with his grandfather in nearby Mentor, Ohio. The kid was a ball of energy, the grandfather said, and the two fished, shot guns and traveled to Florida and Cleveland.

The eldest Myers remembered building the boy a basketball hoop, and Andrew Myers spent hours practicing.

"That was his out," said Samuel F. Myers, from his home in Mentor, Ohio. "That was his release for a lot of that built-up energy."

Andrew Myers' father said his son's decision to join the Army was easy.

"He just believed he should," he said. "Like it was his duty to do so. He was really gung-ho on America."

In the Army, he served as a fueler for helicopter units and deployed three times to Iraq - right from the beginning stages of the war. He and his former wife, Tina Myers, lived in Germany for much of his Army career.

That same energy from his childhood awoke as he raised their boys, usually by helping to coach their T-ball and soccer teams, Tina Myers said.

"He always wanted to have the best life for his kids," Tina Myers said.

The couple divorced around the time that he was assigned to Fort Carson, and she moved to Ohio with their sons.

He then left the Army - but what happened next is unclear, she said.

Neither Andrew Myers' ex-wife, father nor grandfather had heard from him in about two years. In essence, Tina Myers said, "he kind of just fell off the grid."

The silence ended this week - not with a call from Andrew Myers but from police officers.

Andrew Myers, they explained, had been shot while riding his bicycle.

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