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Roomates' trash dispute led to threats before fatal Colorado shooting

A student accused of killing two people at a Colorado college had earlier threatened to kill his roommate in a dispute over trash, documents show.
Roomates' trash dispute led to threats before fatal Colorado shooting
Posted at 4:32 PM, Feb 23, 2024

A college student accused of killing his roommate and another person at a Colorado dorm room last week told his roommate a month earlier he would “kill him” if he was asked to take out the trash again, according to a court document released Friday.

The dispute in early January was reported to campus police and housing officials but there is no indication in court documents that university officials made any attempt to remove the suspect from the room despite multiple reports of conflicts, including the threat.

Chris Valentine, a spokesperson for the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, said due to the ongoing investigation and federal student privacy laws, the university couldn't “provide any additional information about the people involved in this incident.”

The new details about the shooting and the threat were included in an arrest affidavit that was unsealed by a judge after charges against the suspect, Nicholas Jordan of Detroit, were announced during a court hearing Friday.

Jordan, 25, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, felony menacing and committing a crime of violence in the Feb. 16 killing of his roommate, Samuel Knopp, 24, of Parker, Colorado, and Celie Rain Montgomery, 26, of Pueblo, Colorado, in a dorm room at the university.

Jordan's lawyer, Nick Rogers, objected to the document's release, in part because he said his client — a junior studying accounting — would continue to be “prosecuted in the media.” He did not address the allegations against Jordan during the hearing and tried unsuccessfully to have Jordan released from jail without paying any bail.

Another roommate who also lived with Knopp and Jordan told investigators that he and Knopp made multiple complaints about Jordan’s “living area cleanliness,” and his marijuana and cigarette smoking, besides the incident that led to the threat being made over the trash, the document said. The threat came after Knopp gathered some trash in a bag and placed it at the door of Jordan's bedroom in the pod-style dorm, which included a shared living area and individual bedrooms, the other roommate said.

“Mr. Jordan threatened Mr. Knopp and told him that he would 'kill him' and there would be consequences if Mr. Jordan was asked to take out the trash again," police said in the document.

SEE MORE: UCCS shooting suspect was victim's roommate, but motive still unclear

Jordan filed a request to withdraw from the university about 14 hours before the fatal shootings. His dorm room was empty when police arrived, court records said.

An electronic access number assigned to Jordan was used twice to enter the dorm building on Feb. 16, once just before 4 a.m. and a second time at 5:42 a.m. A few minutes before 6 a.m., a surveillance camera captured somebody running out of the dorm building, the arrest affidavit said.

The warrant for Jordan's arrest was issued on the first day of the investigation, but he was not publicly identified as a suspect until his arrest Monday in a residential area of Colorado Springs, about 3 miles (5 kilometers) from campus.

In addition to a gun that prosecutors said was found in Jordan's car, authorities recently learned that he also had a fully loaded AK-47, Robert Willett of the 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office told Judge David Shakes during the hearing. Jordan had a temporary job and appeared to have all his belongings in his car when he was arrested, Willett said, arguing Jordan was a flight risk.

Jordan was eager to have a hearing on the evidence as soon as possible, even though his lawyers, who are public defenders, had asked for it to be delayed because their office was recently hit by a cyberattack. Shakes agreed to schedule it earlier, on March 27.

According to police, the other roommate reported the shots early on Feb. 16, leading to the discovery of the bodies of Knopp and Montgomery in Crestone House.

Knopp "was a senior studying music and a beloved member of the Visual and Performing Arts department. He was an accomplished guitar player and an extremely talented musician," University Chancellor Jennifer Sobanet said in a statement on Sunday. Montgomery was not a student at the university.

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