A 37-year-old man has been arrested in Denver, Colorado for the murder of an armed RTD transit security officer late Tuesday night. Joshua Cummings is a former military sergeant (he never saw action) and was in possession of a Koran and Islamic writings when police found him hiding.
Cummings walked up to his victim, Scott Von Lanken, 56, around 11 p.m. from behind and placed his 9mm pistol to the man’s neck and pulled the trigger. Two women witnessed the murder after they had approached Von Lanken to ask about the train schedules. They said Cummings told the officer, “Do what you are told.” Von Lanken died on his way to the hospital. When Cummings was found less than an hour later, officers observed him praying on his knees. Investigators suspect Von Lanken was mistaken for a Denver police officer because his uniform was also dark blue.
People who knew Cummings described him as a “radical Muslim” and someone who has “always been anti-cop.” In Austin, Texas, Cummings taught jiu-jitsu and was once kicked out of a mosque for his radical beliefs. His Twitter account showed more insight into his psyche, according to KUSA:
“I seek refuge in the one God from the evils of Satan, and I begin in the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the …” he wrote in June 25, 2016.
“Wake up people. America is a failed state. It’s about to get so real. …” he posted on June 26, 2016.
And in a July 2, 2016, tweet, he called for a “former cop” in Arizona to be “put to death for treason”
An acquaintance of the suspect described Cummings as “extremely violent” and had witnessed him holding guns to people’s heads before.
Denver Police Chief Robert White said, “We’re not 100 percent sure what motivated this particular individual to shoot the victim.” Really? White also said there was no previous contact with the suspect and his only criminal history was a domestic violence charge in Austin in 2010 that was dismissed.
Von Lanken leaves behind a wife and two children.
Watch a news report below: