Riehl was hospitalized at a Veterans Administration psychiatric ward in Wyoming in 2014, and at one point he was placed under a 72-hour mental health hold. It is not yet clear whether his meant health record should have kept him from buying firearms.
Matthew Riehl once was a standout law student and an Army medic in Iraq. By last weekend, he lay dead in a Colorado apartment building, killed by a SWAT team after he gunned down a 29-year-old deputy. Riehl’s six-year descent from a budding attorney to a gunman who live-streamed some of the final violent hours of his life was accompanied by episodes of mental illness, the Associated Press reports. It still is unclear whether Riehl’s problems were grave enough to disqualify him from buying a weapon. Police haven’t released details about what weapons were used or how he obtained them. Federal standards prevent anyone from buying a gun who has been determined to be a danger to themselves or others by a court or other authority. People who have been involuntarily committed to a psychiatric institution also can’t buy from federally licensed gun dealers.
Riehl was hospitalized at a Veterans Administration psychiatric ward in Wyoming in 2014, and at one point he was placed under a 72-hour mental health hold. The VA declined to say whether that treatment meant Riehl should not have been allowed to own a gun. KDVR-TV in Denver reported that Riehl had purchased 11 firearms from a store in Laramie, Wy., between 2010 and 2013, but it wasn’t immediately known whether any of those guns were used in the Colorado shooting. A Laramie Police Department report said David Smith, owner of Dave’s Guns, told police Riehl passed the required background checks.