BOULDER, Colo. – The Boulder Police Department arrested an adult male today after receiving information detailing numerous threats of violence to the community.
On Monday, Jan. 31, Matthew Christopher Harris, 31, sent out a threatening email with a link to an 800-page manifesto threatening violence. That information was sent to the UCLA Police Department. Upon learning about this email, UCLA Police tracked him to Boulder, Colorado, and notified the Boulder Police Department (BPD) at approximately 6 p.m. on Jan. 31.
After reviewing parts of the lengthy manifesto, BPD identified thousands of references to violence, stating things such as “killing, death, murder, shooting, bombs, schoolyard massacre and Boulder” and phrases like “burn and attack Boulder outside by the university.”
BPD immediately began an investigation with state and federal partners and quickly located Harris in a residence in the 900 block of Broadway.
After Boulder Police responded to Harris’ address on Broadway, he sent out additional threats to numerous individuals indicating he knew the police were outside his building. This elevated the level of concern. Boulder Police officers maintained surveillance on the address throughout the night in order to ensure that he was unable to leave the location before daylight.
The Boulder regional SWAT was activated at 7:52 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 1, and immediately set up a perimeter around Harris’ location. Officers then began evacuating a nearby elementary school, residents and businesses. BPD also coordinated with the University of Colorado Boulder to evacuate some students.
Soon thereafter BPD issued a shelter in place to 65 homes nearest the apartment building to Harris’ location.
Further investigation revealed that Harris had attempted to buy an unknown handgun at a gun store in Jefferson County on Nov. 2. His purchase was denied.
A search warrant was applied for, approved by judge and once obtained, officers attempted to make contact with Harris. Crisis negotiators were able to reach him by phone. The BPD Crisis Intervention Response Team was on scene along with other policing agencies and community partners.
After further conversation with negotiators at approximately 11:07 a.m., officers were able to safely take Harris into custody. Detectives are currently in the process of searching his apartment and the community can expect to see a law enforcement presence in the area for a while.
“The importance of having collaboration at the federal, state and local levels was critical to the swift resolution of this incident this morning,” Police Chief Maris Herold said. “The incident today is yet another reminder of the ongoing need for strong relationships with our federal law enforcement partners to protect the Boulder community.”
Harris is currently being held on state charges. Since the alleged threats were made across state lines and victims are located in California, Boulder District Attorney Michael Dougherty has been in close communication with the United States Attorney’s Office since early this morning.
“The inter-agency cooperation and strong working relationships are critical to ensuring that the best outcome is reached in any serious case,” he said. “We anticipate that further announcements about the charges will be coming soon.”
A mugshot has not yet been taken at the time of this press release.
Anyone with any information related to this investigation is asked to call Detective Burke at 303-441-4483 reference case 22-970. Those who have information, but wish to remain anonymous may contact the Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Tips may also be submitted through the Crime Stoppers website at https://nococrimestoppers.com/