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Coworkers say CSU-Pueblo student had anti-government views, fantasized about attacking school

PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- Robert Killis, the Colorado State University-Pueblo student arrested this week for having a cache of weapons and ammo, reportedly fantasized about setting off bombs in the school courtyard and shooting students as they ran away.

That's according to an affidavit obtained by KRDO Thursday, which also says Killis developed anti-government views following a stint in the military and wanted to kill President Joe Biden.

The investigation into Killis, 24, started about a week ago, according to the affidavit. On Sept. 18, someone reported to deputies on campus that they heard about threats being made by a student saying he was going to learn to make pipe bombs to "deal with some anti-government issues."

Investigators started looking into the report and interviewed a supervisor where Killis worked on campus. That supervisor told the investigator that he met Killis when he was just starting school and was "fixated" on being in the military. Killis reportedly joined a military branch and left school but when he returned to college a few years later, he had changed his fixation "to a negative government type of thinking."

The supervisor said Killis became anti-government and anti-vaccination, and didn't like anyone with power telling him what to do. The supervisor told investigators that Killis still talked like he was part of the military forces, but he didn't like rules or anyone telling him to do something. The supervisor said when Killis got in trouble, he would make reference to Black Lives Matter and comment about being discriminated against.

According to the affidavit, the supervisor told investigators that Killis made a statement in front of employees saying he liked "killing people," and had been talking about killing President Biden and making pipe bombs. The supervisor told investigators Killis had been kicked out of the school's ROTC program, and that made Killis angry. Another employee in the area reported to the supervisor that Killis had made threats and talked about buying body armor, an AR-style rifle, a shotgun, and a .45 caliber handgun.

The supervisor and one of Killis' coworkers both reported hearing a similar plot from Killis.

The coworker said Killis told him about a plan to set off pipe bombs in the courtyard where ROTC members eat and take breaks. That's when he allegedly made the statement about shooting students as they ran from the explosions.

A coworker also reported that Killis had been carrying throwing knives and "repeatedly talked about bayoneting someone." During one incident, a coworker asked Killis what he thought about a female student on campus, and Killis replied, "She would be good target practice for the bayonet."

Investigators started surveilling Killis after taking the reports. Killis was approached by a sergeant and searched, and that's when police found an AR-style rifle, a shotgun, and a .45 caliber handgun inside his pickup truck. Investigators also found seven high-capacity magazines that were loaded inside his bulletproof vest, along with two more loaded magazines in his tactical belt and another eight high-capacity magazines in an ammunition box. Altogether, police noted there were about 1,000 rounds of ammunition, and some of them appeared to be "armor-piercing ammunition."

Killis denied making threats toward President Biden or other students and told investigators that he knew making threats like the ones reported would get him in trouble. Investigators told him that the people who made the reports to law enforcement knew specific details about his guns. Killis also told investigators he was still active duty National Guard.

Killis said he wasn't aware that he couldn't have firearms on campus, but the affidavit notes he signed the school's code of conduct, which prohibits weapons on campus.

According to the affidavit, Killis was cooperative and gave consent to search his phone.

Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor said there will be an added law enforcement presence at the university, and deputies will be available to address any concerns from students and staff. Taylor also commended the witnesses who came forward.

Killis is being held on a charge of unlawful possession of a weapon on a university campus, which is a class-six felony. His bond was set at $500,000, cash only. His first appearance in court is set for Sept. 30.

Andrew McMillan

Andrew is the Digital Content Director for KRDO.com. Learn more about Andrew here.

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