DENVER – A Muslim man accused of killing a transit officer in Denver had previously been investigated after members of mosques in Texas and Colorado contacted authorities about his behavior.
Investigators interviewed Joshua Cummings, 37, in December after members of a Denver-area mosque reported concerns about him to federal authorities, a law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official wasn’t authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation. Before the Denver report, members of the Texas mosque from which Cummings was removed reported concerning behavior to the FBI, the official said.
Cummings is suspected of walking up behind guard Scott Von Lanken on a downtown corner Tuesday night as he spoke to two women, putting a gun to his neck and shooting him. Cummings is being held without bond on suspicion of murder and hasn’t been charged yet. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance Friday morning. It’s not clear if he has a lawyer yet.
A lawyer for a Denver mosque said Thursday that the mosque notified authorities about Cummings in December but did not want to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter. The mosque wrote an email on Dec. 24 to federal officials about alarming statements Cummings made, said attorney Qusair Mohamedbhai.
Mohamedbhai released a redacted version of the email, sent to a Department of Homeland Security address, in which a leader reported that a man identifying himself only as “Joshua” and as a convert to Islam made worrisome statements during a Dec. 24 lunch and at an earlier event, including that he said it was OK to fight to establish the rule of Islam here.