On Halloween Day, Naomi Bettis of Colorado Springs saw her neighbor across the street walking around with a black rifle, a handgun and two gasoline cans, and she called 911 promptly at 8:45 a.m. Bettis was so unnerved by what she saw that she canceled her own plans to get in her car and leave home. She also reported that the man appeared to have broken the window of a ground-floor business.

The dispatcher’s response to Bettis? “Well, it is an open carry state, so he can have a weapon with him or walking around with it, but of course, having those gas cans, it does seem pretty suspicious. So we’re going to keep the call going for that.” The dispatcher ultimately created a possible burglary in progress call. Colorado Springs police have clarified that a priority 2 level call of this nature describes a situation “with potentially dangerous circumstance but no apparent imminent life threat.” No officers were dispatched to the scene.

At 8:56 a.m., Bettis called 911 again. By this time it was too late to prevent tragedy. “Some guy was just riding his bike through the alley and the guy [armed with the rifle] started shooting him,” Bettis reported, crying. “[The man who was on the bike is] laying in the driveway … Please send somebody here.” …

Police confronted the suspect, Noah Harpham, 33, in the street. When he pointed a gun at the officers, they were forced to kill him. He was armed with an AR-15 rifle, a .357 caliber revolver and a 9mm semiautomatic pistol. By the time they brought him down, Harpham had killed three people: bicyclist Andrew Alan Myers, 35; and then Jennifer Vasquez, 42, and Christy Galella, 35…

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