The awful murder of 56-year-old Denver transit officer Scott Von Lanken is made all the more worse after reports surfaced that the Department of Homeland Security had been warned about the alleged killer by members of his mosque.
The attack took place Tuesday when Joshua Cummings approached the uniformed transit officer as he was helping two women, according to police. Cummings reportedly told him, "Do as I tell you," and then fired a gun into his neck, fatally injuring him.
This is Joshua Cummings, the man suspected of killing an RTD transit officer. https://t.co/5dszdsvm3p— Lance Hernandez (@Lance Hernandez)1486069880.0
Police captured him blocks away and recovered a firearm.
Cummings is an Army veteran and a convert to Islam, but representatives of his mosque grew apprehensive of how radicalized he was becoming. They had sent a letter to DHS warning about Cummings in December.
Suspect Joshua Cummings, 37, attended a mosque event and raised red flags after expressing perceived extremist views and a willingness to "fight," according to the email that representatives of the mosque sent to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in December. It’s unclear when the mosque event occurred.
"He seems pretty advanced in his path of radicalization," the email warned DHS. "He also feels that it [is] okay to fight now (not jihad/struggle, but actually fight), here to establish the rule of Islam."
The letter concluded with details about how they were trying to pacify his radicalism with counseling from Imams, but it wasn't working. "He is not listening to reason."
Email here that Colo. Mosque sent to feds about Joshua Cummings , a month before he is alleged to have gunned down… https://t.co/bWYsbceFRN— Brian Maass (@Brian Maass)1486064343.0
Homeland Security confirmed in a statement that they had received the letter, adding, "It was immediately referred to the appropriate law enforcement agencies for review.”
Scott Von Lanken was a devoted husband who worked 65 hours a week "to provide for his family, including an adult daughter with disabilities," reported Kyle Clark of 9 News in Denver.
Slain RTD security officer Scott Von Lanken worked 65 hrs/wk to provide for his family, including an adult daughter with disabilities #9NEWS— Kyle Clark (@Kyle Clark)1485992367.0
Von Lanken had also been a Christian pastor at an Assembly of God church in Loveland, Colorado, and later at a church in Ohio.
Cummings faces first degree murder charges according to ABC News, and will appear in court Friday.