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Questions remain in aftermath of Colorado Springs shootout with gunman

November 2, 2015 Updated: November 3, 2015 at 8:50 am
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photo - Flowers left in a fence Monday, November 2, 2015 as a memorial to the victims of Saturday's shootings in downtown Colorado Springs, Colo. The memorial on an overpass above Platte Avenue is one of a handful of memorials spread over a three block area. AP PHOTO/THE GAZETTE/MARK REIS
Flowers left in a fence Monday, November 2, 2015 as a memorial to the victims of Saturday's shootings in downtown Colorado Springs, Colo. The memorial on an overpass above Platte Avenue is one of a handful of memorials spread over a three block area. AP PHOTO/THE GAZETTE/MARK REIS 

As investigators tallied bullet casings, sought surveillance tapes and talked to witnesses, one thing remained unclear to a community left reeling from a Saturday's deadly shooting spree: Why?

The gunman's motive for shooting dead a bicyclist and two women living in a home for recovering addicts remained a mystery Monday, even as police released the names of each victim killed along the half-mile rampage.

Andrew Alan Myers, 35, was shot while riding his bicycle on Prospect Street, his body falling mere feet from the house where the gunman lived. Little information was available Monday evening about the Colorado Springs man on that bike.

Friends and relatives of the other two victims - Christy Galella, 34, and Jennifer Vasquez, 42 - previously recalled the women as looking forward to brighter futures after turning their lives around at a house off Platte Avenue for women overcoming addiction.

The gunman was Noah Harpham, 33, a licensed insurance agent who joined Alcoholics Anonymous in 2007 - a struggle against addiction that his mother documented in a book called "Sober mercies: How love caught up with a Christian Drunk." A day before the killings, Harpham posted a rambling blog that railed against his father, religion and government, all while calling himself a "gentle giant."

For the first time, Harpham's father and brother stepped forward Monday with a statement to The Gazette - saying the family was "shocked and deeply saddened" by the shootings, while extending "heartfelt sympathies" to the victims' families.

Their statement came hours after Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers also expressed grief over the shootings, calling them a "terrible tragedy."

But a dearth of information remained about what led up to the shootings - as well as the firefight that left the gunman mortally wounded by officers in a Wendy's parking lot.

None of the four Colorado Springs police officers involved in a shootout with Harpham wore body cameras during the firefight, the El Paso County Sheriff's Office said Monday. Nor were their cruisers equipped with dashboard cameras, the agency added.

Their names were not released Monday, though the Police Department said that information would be announced later this week.

The only clues about the gunman's final moments and the police department's efforts to stop him were left on dispatch recordings.

Around 9 a.m. Saturday, officers spotted Harpham, walking with a rifle, in front of the Taco Bell at the corner of Platte and Wahsatch. Less than 30 seconds later, another officer called out: "Shots fired. My cruiser was shot at."

The gunman briefly eluded officers, who reported seeing him head to the Wendy's a block south. Their pursuit ended a few seconds later, when an officer called in that "the suspect is down."

The entire exchange between officers and the gunman lasted just a few minutes.

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