A confrontation over the serving of an eviction notice yesterday in Park County led to a shootout in which the home's resident, Martin Wirth, and a deputy, Corporal Nate Carrigan, were killed and two others were injured.
Now, additional information has surfaced about Wirth, who was an outspoken activist affiliated with Occupy Denver, a Green Party candidate for State Senate District 2 circa 2014 and a suspect in a 1994 murder over a chess game.
At 9:48 a.m. on Wednesday, November 24, according to the Park County Sheriff's office, uniformed officers arrived at 36 Iris Drive in Bailey to serve what's termed a "high-risk Writ of Restitution (eviction notice)."
Wirth had reportedly defaulted on the property back in 2013 and had been fighting to keep living there ever since.
Park County Sheriff Fred Wegener is said to have arrived at the address just as patrol officers were about to make contact with Wirth.
At that point, Wirth allegedly came out onto the deck of his home, then paused and went back inside.
The officers followed him, and the PCSO maintains that Wirth responded by opening fire on the law enforcers, who shot back.
Both Wirth and Carrigan, a thirteen-year veteran of the sheriff's office, were pronounced dead at the scene.
In addition, Master Patrol Deputy Kolby Martin, an eleven-year Park County veteran, took multiple bullets to his lower extremities.
And Captain Mark Hancock, who's been with Park County for 21 years, was shot in the ear.
Shortly thereafter, information began to surface about Wirth, who had a strong online imprint.
He continued to use his Colorado Senate Facebook page, with the most recent post, on February 23, concerning Donald Trump.
Other items dealt with a wide range of issues, including singer Kesha's sexual assault allegations, a University of Denver study showing the amount of money being spent to criminalize homelessness and a graphic showing the "7 Things You Need to Know About Anarchism."
Within hours, Occupy Denver shared a post about Wirth.
We are sorry to share that Martin Wirth, so long active working to end fraudulent foreclosures and evictions, is reported to have died in a shootout with police this morning in Bailey Colorado. Martin recently shared with friends that he was experiencing harassment by the police, and we are sharing that post here. Any media looking for a statement should look at what Martin himself shared.
The OD item links to a Wirth post with the heading, "Cops draw guns on former Senate candidate for attempting to purchase car insurance."
It begins like so: "The USA is laughably worse than most of the dictatorships it decries. The political class in this country emulates the tyrants in its in lesser vassal states. It's likely that they use other countries as testing grounds for how to manage us. Despots are figureheads. Real tyranny comes from authoritarians that use dysfunctional systems to get what they want no matter who may suffer and die in the process."
We've included the complete essay below. It ran alongside the following graphic:
In its reporting, the Denver Post highlighted its 2014 voter's guide, to which Wirth responded in depth prior to his unsuccessful 2014 state senate run.
Here's his response to the question, "Should Colorado’s death penalty be abolished? "
Killing people to show that killing people is wrong is a piece of idiotic hypocrisy. It turns our justice system into a circus sideshow without addressing the causes behind violence in the least bit.
Abolition would rid us of the sideshow and save our justice system a little bit of money.
Interest in this question suggests fear towards addressing the root causes of violence in our society. Poverty is a form of violence that leads to malnutrition, homelessness, and hopelessness. The destruction of our sense of community, and treating people like disposable commodities opens the gate to deeply anti-social and violent thinking. This is itself the result of unconscionable thinking within the ranks of our political class. Our governments on all levels are using violence as a method of early resort. Governmental violence is often applied to force unwilling people to comply with regimes that never earned their informed consent.
Also surfacing was a video interview in which Wirth fulminated on what he termed "illegal foreclosure" — see it below.
And then there was his connection to a 1994 murder in Larimer County.
According to 7News, records of the case remain sealed more than two decades after the incident took place.
However, the station referenced an old Post article on the topic. It stated that Wirth, then age 37, was attending a birthday party at a trailer park when he lost a game of chess and became angry.
He then allegedly returned to his own nearby mobile home, obtained a revolver, told his chess competitor, "Why don't you go back to California, you gangster," and shot him twice.
Racial epithets were also spouted, the original piece maintains.
Upon their arrival, Fort Collins police officers tackled Wirth before taking him into custody.
In the end, though, Wirth wasn't convicted of a crime. And he isn't alive to be tried for what happened in Bailey yesterday morning.
Look below to see a press conference about the shooting, followed by the aforementioned foreclosure video and Wirth's Facebook essay.
Martin Wirth Facebook essay:
From Bailey, Colorado.
The USA is laughably worse than most of the dictatorships it decries. The political class in this country emulates the tyrants in its in lesser vassal states. It's likely that they use other countries as testing grounds for how to manage us. Despots are figureheads. Real tyranny comes from authoritarians that use dysfunctional systems to get what they want no matter who may suffer and die in the process. In the 1920s, we called this racketeering. Now crime has the support of the police, most judges, most prosecutors, and loads of teary-eyed politicians who eat babies for breakfast. Read up on Flint if you don't believe that fact. It only depends on the type of crime used to rob people. Few are those who dare to question an institution that has enabled racketeers to take over the government through bribery and violence every step of the way. As long as the cops get their cut, the bosses can break any law with impunity.
I went to Conifer to purchase insurance for my truck. Unbeknownst to me, my license had been revoked. Upon querying, this was because I refuse to pay extortion and my request for appeal has been put off on a bullshit speeding ticket, one where I was accused of magically driving 85-mph in a traffic jam where no one was going faster than 45-mph. That was an act of police aggression while I was on the campaign trail doing my Coffee with the Candidate thing in 2014. My senate district is huge. I spent my entire personal fortune of about $380, lacking corporate sponsors much less funds to hire cheerleaders.
Surveillance, blackballing, and harassment are common occurrences to political dissidents in all countries where imprisonment and assassinations are used to keep us under control. Most people fight back but, sadly, not here in the home of the brave.
Instead, we hear excuses about how necessary it is to have police stalk, chase, grope, rob, beat, extort, rape, kidnap, threaten, and kill people because this is how we protect them. If you are the kind of person who believes in such depravity enough to willingly pay for it, you may continue on your knees, controlled by disinformation, being obedient, and thinking you have liberty when you have none. We have nothing real to discuss.
Because I ran for State Senate, I am a high value target. Some police know they need to be abolished. They are a brutal impediment to human progress and a danger to us all. Because I write such things, cops want me dead. Their primary tool is aggression: unlawfully detaining and terrorizing people, checking for papers, stealing money to enrich towns run by assholes that abuse government to pay for private improvements, that sort of shit.
How is this an acceptable way to live? Have people no shame anymore?
The abuse, of course, doesn't stop with extortion and beatings. Cops rape and kill people. Others are maimed for life. One cop repeatedly punched my face and knocked two of my teeth out after others piled on. This was after aiming loaded pistols while screaming threats at me. I may have provoked them with a finger or gave them the skunk eye. Then I turned my back to go home. They were about to open fire. It's better to be shot in the back while unarmed because the coroner will usually record that as a homicide.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
A Jefferson Country sheriff's deputy came all the way into Park County and did that. None of the Park County cops made any effort to help a citizen of their own county being attacked by a homicidal psychopath from the neighboring county over six miles out of his jurisdiction. In fact, they drew their own pistols to assist my assailant. Maybe they needed to dust off the old shooting irons, or missed that special camaraderie you can only have when you threaten to shoot someone for attempting to purchase car insurance.
When people like me run for senate, you know it's bad. But it's much more entertaining when the cops are pulling out any excuse to kill you for it. My neighbor suggested that I head on over to the sheriff's office to apply for a concealed carry permit. What do you all think?