Justin Cook, a 31-year-old Colorado man on probation for felony menacing charges, fired an AK-47 rifle in the crawl space of his home while his terrified 12-year-old daughter called for help and hid in the closet, according to ABC-7 Denver.
Cook is on probation. He is prohibited from possessing guns. Cook told the courts in 2012 that he’d been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, Bipolar Disorder and Anxiety Disorder. He also had pleaded guilty to prohibited use of a weapon/recklessness with gun and harassment.
When he pleaded guilty to felony menacing with a legally-owned weapon in 2012, he was arrested after acting out a vigilante-type fantasy, pulling over motorists under the guise of being a policeman. He brandished a weapon after he pulled them over, and tried to start a fight:
In the June 2012 confrontation, a woman motorist and her passengers told police they were stopped at an intersection at night when Cook pulled up in a pickup truck asked what a man seated in the back of the woman’s car had said.
The woman said that there must be some misunderstanding.
“Are you sure about?” Cook asked and then he brandished a black semi-automatic handgun with a laser sight and a badge, according to police records obtained by 7NEWS.
The woman said she didn’t want any trouble because her son was in the car.
“Are you sure the dude in the back don’t want to settle this?” the gunman said. He drove his truck down the street, then turned around and came back.
“I’m not a normal cop. I do what I want, whenever I want, and that’s why I wear this,” Cook told the people in the car, tapping his chest, according to the report. The female driver told police it sounded hard when the man tapped his chest, like he was wearing body armor.
After Cook drove off, the victims called 911 and gave police the pickup’s license plate.
During the 2012 menacing incident, SWAT officers had to endure a long standout with Cook, forcing entry into his home. He was heavily armed and had threatened to “shoot it out with police,” according to ABC-7.
This time, officers were aware of his circumstances and took extra precautions. They were worried about the welfare of his daughter. First and foremost they made sure she was okay.
The police were called just after midnight on Sept. 29, when Cook began acting strangely with his daughter and she heard a series of gunshots that sounded like they came from the house.
“Cook’s daughter then hid in her closet because she was afraid of Cook and [she] subsequently called her stepfather, who advised her to call 911 and stated that he would come to pick her up,” an agent with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives wrote in the complaint. She told her stepfather that she had heard loud gunshots, and that her father had been drinking all day.
Police then seized a “camouflage-painted AK-47 rifle” along with a loaded ammunition magazine.
They arrested Cook on several investigative counts of weapon possession by a convicted felon and possession of a defaced firearm. One of the guns had a serial number that had been scratched off.
The judge refused him bail, determining that Cook was a danger to the community. He cited the fact that the convicted felon had three guns in his home along with 500 rounds of ammunition. Two people also had protection orders against him prohibiting him from possessing a gun.
[Image Source: ABC-7 Denver/Westminster Police Department]
Oh my god that poor child. Surely his family is familiar with his violent psychotic behavior; can no one in the family step up to keep this child safe and loved??
Can’t attest to an organic reason for his violence but he certainly seems at least profoundly emotionally disturbed. It’s not a matter of if, but when he kills himself or someone else. Huge gratitude to judge for acknowledging the danger and refusing to let him out of jail before trial.
This man is clearly unstable and I am glad that he was denied bail. That poor girl must have been terrified. It is admirable that she was able to keep calm and have the presence of mind to keep herself safe and call for help.
How sad! I can’t even imagine the terror this child must have felt. A parent is supposed to keep their child safe not scare them. I am glad that he was denied bail too.
I wish people like this wouldn’t have children. I just can’t even imagine what his daughter is going through right now thanks to her father. I am also really glad that the judge denied him bail. We don’t need him out on the streets at all.
So true! I do think that PTSD is very real but this poor child. I am so glad that she called out for help. Thank heavens that her stepfather knew what to tell her to do.
Was he related to ‘Foot Long Mayo’ William Schmalfeldt?