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UCCS double shooting suspect denied bond reduction; affidavit shows how Colorado Springs police ID'ed suspect

Affidavit also details past arguments between Jordan and Knopp, who were roommates
uccs suspect nicholas jordan
Posted at 10:48 AM, Feb 23, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-23 19:20:41-05

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — The defendant accused in the double homicide at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) was denied a reduction of bond on Friday morning, just before his arrest affidavit was released.

Nicholas Jordan, 25, of Detroit, Michigan, was in court on Friday, where Judge David Shakes heard arguments on bond and the possibility of releasing his arrest affidavit. Jordan has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, and is accused of fatally shooting Samuel Knopp, 24, of Parker, and Celie Rain Montgomery, 26, of Pueblo, in a UCCS dorm on Feb. 16.

Court began with a discussion about the affidavit, which was sealed prior to Jordan's arrest. Prosecutors requested that it be unsealed. The defense asked for it to remain sealed, saying their defendant has the constitutional right to the assumption of innocence.

In response, Judge Shakes said the affidavit is "very bare bones" and did not contain any information that would "inflame the passions of the community."

After a brief break, the court addressed Jordan's bond. The defense asked for a reduction in Jordan's $5 million cash-only bond, saying he has no monetary ability to post bond and no prior convictions. They said that Jordan's out-of-state family has indicated their support for him. The defense asked for a PR bond. In response, prosecutors said they — as well as the families of the two victims — would "obviously object" to that reduction. They stressed that Jordan does not have any ties to the community and because of the sentence attached to the murder charges if he is convicted, which is life in prison without parole, he would likely feel tempted to flee. They also argued that in the three days after the shooting, the defendant made no efforts to contact police or turn himself in. At the time of his arrest, he had not only all of his belongings and a handgun in his car, but a fully loaded AK-47, the prosecution said.

Judge Shakes said he took several factors into account while making this decision, which included lack of significant ties to the community, nature of the crimes, the sentence if convicted, and likelihood the defendant would attempt to flee. He ultimately denied the bond reduction request.

A status conference for this case was scheduled for March 15 at 11 a.m. and a preliminary hearing was set for March 27 at 9 a.m.

The six-page arrest affidavit was released shortly after the court hearing ended.

It reads that on Feb. 16 around 6 a.m., a person called the UCCS Police Department to report a shooting in his dormitory pod, located in the Crestone House along Clyde Way. Each dorm pod has a common area and four bedrooms. Police responded to the scene and in one of the bedrooms, found a deceased man and woman with injuries to their torso. Multiple spent handgun cartridge cases were near them on the ground, according to the affidavit.

The caller confirmed he had been living in the pod with two other men, whom he identified as Knopp and Jordan. The fourth room was vacant, he said. The caller said he believed Jordan had recently left the pod due to "significant issues and complaints of Mr. Jordan's smoking marijuana, cigarettes and his living area cleanliness to UCCS Police and UCCS Housing," the affidavit reads, as well as "unsafe living conditions."

While talking with police, the caller said he woke up on Feb. 16 to the sound of gunshots and somebody moaning, followed by somebody shutting a door and running away. From his locked bedroom, he called police.

After officers arrived at the scene, the caller described to police an instance when Knopp had asked Jordan to take out the trash and Jordan responded that he would "'kill him' and there would be consequences if Mr. Jordan was asked to take out the trash again," the affidavit reads. UCCS police confirmed this interaction happening on Jan. 9. It is not clear if this argument was related to the shooting.

Jordan's room was empty of belongings.

Around 6:10 a.m., UCCS Police requested assistance from the Colorado Springs Police Department, which also responded.

Police did not find any evidence of forced entry. Each pod has a locked electronic access reader that records who enters the pod based on individual electronic access numbers. Using this, police learned Jordan accessed the building at 3:53 a.m. and again at 5:42 a.m. that morning. No other person accessed that door that evening or morning, according to the affidavit.

Police reviewed footage from a camera attached to a light pole near the dormitory complex, which showed the exterior of the pod where police were investigating.

"Upon review of the footage on 2/16/2024 at 0541 hours, a person is observed in dark clothing walking toward the east entry door," the affidavit reads. "This matched the entry log for Nicholas Jordan's electronic access registered at 0542 hours. On 2/16/2024 at 0556 hours, a person in dark clothing is observed running out of the east entrance and along the northeast side of the adjacent dormitory buildings."

Police knew from a traffic stop in January — prior to the shooting — that Jordan drove a black 2009 Ford Escape SUV. They also knew the car's license plate number. Jordan confirmed his address during the stop, which matched the dorm pod, and his phone number and email. In that case, he was stopped for an illegal U-turn, according to the affidavit.

After the shooting, police located Jordan's Facebook profile using some of this information. In addition, license plate readers cameras captured images of the Ford on Feb. 16 at 7:47 a.m. just north of the UCCS campus.

UCCS reported that Jordan filed a request to withdraw from classes and housing on the afternoon of Feb. 15, according to the affidavit. Knopp was a registered student. Montgomery was not.

This concluded the arrest affidavit. Police have not announced a suspected motive for the shooting, but said all three people knew each other.

Suspect in UCCS murders arrested, Colorado Springs police announce

Police announced in the early evening of Feb. 16 that based on the investigation at that point, the shooting appeared to be an isolated attack and not a random shooting or a murder-suicide. They continue to investigate the deaths as homicides.

Jordan was arrested on the morning of Feb. 19 near the 4900 block of Cliff Point Circle East in Colorado Springs.

He is next due in court on March 15 for a status conference.

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