Colorado Killer Identified

Chris Jasurek
By Chris Jasurek
October 21, 2017US News
Colorado Killer Identified
Michael Zamora shot and killed his girlfriend, Colorado State University student Savannah McNealy and best friend Tristan Kemp (not pictured) before turning the gun on himself. He also injured a third woman. (Instagram)

A man who shot his best friend and girlfriend, and wounded another person in a Colorado apartment complex has been identified.

Police have named Air Force Sgt. Michael Zamora, 30, as the shooter who killed Tristan Kemp, 26, and Savannah McNealy, 22, in what is described as an “ambush attack” in his apartment near Colorado State University just after 2 a.m. on Oct. 19.

After killing Kemp, his best friend, and McNeely, his girlfriend, Zamora turned the gun on himself, police said.

Police have not ascertained a motive, but think that there might have been a romantic entanglement between the three. Kemp and McNeely were each shot multiple times. Zamora killed himself with a single shot.

According to Fort Collins Police Chief Terry Jones, the three had been out celebrating McNeely’s birthday on Wednesday night and into Thursday morning. They headed home separately, with McNeely, Kemp, and a third woman taking a rideshare to the apartment complex where McNeely lived.

McNealy and Zamora had been dating since at least May of this year. (Instagram)
McNealy and Zamora had been dating since at least May of this year. (Instagram)

Zamora opened fire while still outside the apartment, killing his two friends and wounding the other woman. The third victim is expected to survive.

Darren Rutz, a former CSU student who lives nearby, said he heard a woman calling for help and then heard multiple gunshots. “It seemed like quite a few gunshots to me,” he said.

Matthew Litton, a resident in the apartment complex, said he was lying in bed when he heard multiple gunshots.

“I could tell from the consistency of the firing that it wasn’t fireworks, it was gunshots. I heard a girl yelling, ‘Call 911!’ After that, I heard one last bang, and then it was quiet,” he said.

Litton said a friend of his snapped a photo showing two bodies lying on the sidewalk with a pistol between them.

Zamora had apparently prepared in advance. Police found two rifles and a handgun, all registered to Zamora, at the shooting scene.

Zamora was an eight-year Air Force veteran with a residence at Fort Collins, Colorado, who was assigned to FE Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming, about 60 miles north of his home.

Shawn Kemp served with Zamora in the Air Force and remained friends afterwards. (Facebook)
Tristan Kemp served with Zamora in the Air Force and remained friends afterward. (Facebook)

Tristan Kemp was ex-Air Force. He and Zamora had served together in Afghanistan and had worked together at a company in California. Kemp lived in Hawaii, but had flown to Colorado to help celebrate McNeely’s birthday.

Apparently McNeely and Zamora had been dating since May.

Savannah McNeely was a 22-year-old student at Colorado State University, where she studied liberal arts, art, and art history. She also was a designer for CSU Life, a monthly campus magazine.

Colorado State University is providing grief counselors at an on-campus student center for anyone who needs help coping with this tragedy.

The university sent an email statement saying, in part, “’We are deeply saddened by this terrible loss to our campus community and will share more information as we have it.’

Anyone with information about the shooting is being asked to call Detective Tessa Jakobsson at 970-221-6575.

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