Suspect in Barr Trail stabbing identified and arrested Tuesday in Manitou Springs
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) – The suspect in the Barr Trail stabbing has now been identified and arrested.
On Monday, May 22, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPCSO) assisted the Manitou Springs Police Department in responding to an emergency call that came into the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office Communication Center at around 7:39 p.m.
Upon arriving at the scene, the Manitou Springs Police Department found Eric Snay, 60, with over 15 stab wounds to his neck, arms, and head.
Life-saving measures were performed at the scene by the Manitou Springs Fire Department and he was transported to a local hospital where he underwent surgery and is expected to recover.
The EPCSO states Snay is expected to survive.
On Tuesday morning, Monday, May 23, Manitou Springs police contacted the suspect -- Million Zimmerman, 24 -- while he was walking on the roadway near the 400 Block of Ruxton Avenue.
The EPCSO stated that Zimmerman fit the initial description witnesses gave from the time of the incident and he was immediately arrested .
Zimmerman is being charged with attempted-first-degree murder and is currently being held in jail on a $1,000,000 bond.
Authorities have yet to reveal a motive, but the case remains under investigation by the EPCSO.
The stabbing led to an anxious start of the day for Manitou Incline and Barr Trail hikers Tuesday, but the mood was gradually replaced with relief as news of the arrest and the victim's condition spread.
David Hillman was chaperoning a group of teens on the Incline and trail, and was asked if he would have cancelled the trip had he known about the stabbing.
"You know, we probably would have taken it into consideration, but I still think we still would have come -- given that the situation occurred at night and we're here during the day," he said. "I've never felt any kind of threat during the day here."
Most hikers, like Brian Myers, found the stabbing hard to believe.
"It's somewhat concerning because you think you come here just like everyone else, to get a workout in, and get a little hike in, and then you find out there's some criminal activity going on here in the parking lot, and it sounds like they still don't have a lead on anything, as to what's going on," he said. S"o it is a little bit concerning, especially if you're up on the trail, and you're by yourself and you never know what's going to happen."
Other hikers are now re-evaluating how vulnerable they are to an assailant, in an area known for its recreation and scenic beauty.
"That's why I believe in open carry of firearms," said Kenneth Nelson. "I didn't have mine with me today, I left it in my Jeep. But seeing a firearm should mitigate any trouble that could happen."
His sister-in-law, Megan Ramirez, implied that -- while violence such as a stabbing is rare around the trail -- the suspect might have take advantage of less lighting at dusk and fewer people around.
"Especially because you're out there, giving it all you've got to get up that mountain, and you're exhausted when you come down and are in no condition for a struggle. To be attacked like that, it'd be pretty scary."
Brenna Hayes said that she's not going to let fear of crime or violence affect her love of the outdoors.
"I hike a lot, usually about once a week, and I usually have some pepper spray with me, but I've only had it once in my hand ever," she said. "I just try to live my life."
Sincere Milligan and his girlfriend, Katia Cooan, were uneasy about their Incline hike but decided to continue it.
"Even as a woman, i feel like you're always vulnerable anywhere," she confessed. "But I couldn't imagine. Even if someone looked suspicious, I would be scared and not sure what I would do."
Milligan said that the stabbing makes him question human morality.
"We have to understand our vulnerabilities but it's scary to know that someone has the capability to do something like that, to someone just going about their day," he said.
On Tuesday afternoon, a more common situation developed on Barr Trail; a hiker fell and broke his ankle, requiring help from El Paso County Search & Rescue.
"I walked past him and saw him," said Patrick Krivit. "But he had other people standing by him and helping him, so he was OK."
The caretakers of Barr Camp, located halfway between the trailhead and Pikes Peak, recommend that hikers bring along ten essentials -- even for a trip of several hours.
To see the list, visit: https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/ten-essentials.html.
The caretakers also advise that you avoid hiking alone, ensure that someone know where you are, and have a reliable means to call for help in an emergency.