On Saturday, a man calmly stepped out of his house with a pistol, an AR-15, and a can of gasoline and shot three people dead.
He shot a bicyclist dead, then proceeded to a house owned by the Alano Recovery Program, where he shot two women who were working to put their lives back on track during recovery from substance abuse.
He walked down the street with his weapons in plain view (which he may have legally been authorized to carry openly), and refused to surrender them when police ordered him to, causing them to open fire and kill him, though they have not yet confirmed that their weapons actually did kill him, only that he is dead.
Was it suicide by cop?
Neighbors have identified the shooter as Noah Harpham, age 33. On Thursday, Harpham started a blog and posted a short video to YouTube (above) accusing his father of being associated with a cult.
The Gazette reports:
Noah Harpham, whose blog begins with the address where Saturday's shooting started, rages against a California mega-church pastor.
"Welcome to mind control," Harpham wrote.
In Colorado Springs, Harpham, 33, lived modestly in a series of apartments and worked in insurance.
On the online dating site eHarmony.com, Harpham described himself as a recovering alcoholic and a Christian.
The 6-foot-5 Harpham called himself "a big friendly giant."
Harpham's struggles with substance abuse were documented by his mother, Heather Kopp, in her book "Sober mercies: How love caught up with a Christian Drunk."
When her son quit drinking and sought help through Alcoholics Anonymous in 2007, his mother thought "It's quite possible there's a miracle afoot."
His blog post, which I have preserved in PDF format, is a rambling diatribe in which he repeats this over and over at one point:
One more time, miracles mess you up, especially miracles involving children.
Also from The Gazette:
On Thursday, Harpham started his blog and posted a cryptic 1-minute video to YouTube. Pacing his apartment and talking, Harpham says he sent his father, Thomas Harpham, a critique of a sermon by Redding, Calif. non-denominational Christan pastor Bill Johnson, whose 8,000-member Bethel Church teaches congregants to believe in "supernatural revival."↓ Story continues below ↓
Harpham appears to be agitated that his father, who he said was a follower of Johnson's teachings, hadn't responded. "I've been waiting, waiting and waiting," the pacing Harpham says into the camera.
Harpham's Thursday blog post is entitled "Is my Dad in a Cult, and even worse is it Satanic?"
In his 2013 profile on the dating site, Harpham also discusses his libertarian views.
The profile is here, and here's what he says about his libertarian views:
Knowing and loving Mom, Dad, Nathan, Dave, Rachel and the rest of my family; the incessant and endless task of ego destruction and working to seek, understand, submit to, and apply God's will in my life; playing, writing, and recording music; reading heartbreaking works of staggering genius; reading about free-market theory, the Austrian school of economics, and libertarian philosophy; Alcoholics Anonymous; basketball: playing the game, watching the Portland Trailblazers, and playing fantasy sports; character-building; seeking Truth at every turn; playing golf, especially when my dad pays for it; board games with my family, it's cut-throat.
Under how he spends his free time:
Lately it's lots of free-market theory and Austrian economics, with a helping of American history.
There will be some hypothesizing about how this alleged shooter "broke with reality" or some such nonsense. I don't know what caused him to start pulling the trigger on innocent people in his neighborhood, but I'm not buying any crap about him being mentally ill, no matter how hard they try and press that one on us. Clearly he's intelligent, articulate, and paranoid, just like so many of these libertarian types who think openly carrying deadly weapons is a Constitutional right.
Knowing more about the alleged shooter won't bring those people back to life, but maybe, just maybe, it will give us all that much more of a reason to start being one-issue voters on the question of guns.
Because this was a Bad Guy With A Gun. Not A Good Guy With A Gun. But who on earth could possibly know that?