Lone survivor of Colo. shooting ID'd as best friend of slain CSU student

Megan Dierker, left, and Savannah McNealy, right

CBS Denver

FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- Family has identified the surviving victim of a double murder-suicide in Colorado last week as the best friend of one of the deceased victims who was visiting the Colorado State University student to celebrate her 22nd birthday.

In a video statement released to CBS Denver, the father of Megan Dierker said she is recovering at a Loveland, Colorado hospital. Friends told CBS Denver that Dierker had traveled from Boulder, where she attends the University of Colorado, to Fort Collins to celebrate Savannah McNealy's birthday on Wednesday. The two were childhood friends and had attended a Denver-area high school together before attending separate universities, the station reports.

The two were celebrating Wednesday night with Tristian Kemp and Michael Zamora, 30. Around 2 a.m. Thursday, police say Zamora, of Fort Collins, opened fire at an apartment complex near CSU, firing multiple shots.

He allegedly killed Kemp and McNealy and wounded Dierker before turning the gun on himself.

Fort Collins police Chief Terry Jones told The Denver Post the victims were ambushed after they were dropped off at the complex by a ride-share service. Zamora had been socializing with the three during the evening but was not part of the ride-share group, Jones told the Denver Post.

The motive and exact relationship between the four was unclear, but Jones told the Denver Post they are "not ruling out a love triangle."

"We want to know what happened so we can bring it back to the families," he said. "We're trying to piece it together."

In a statement, F.E. Warren Air Force Base said Zamora was a staff sergeant assigned to the base near Cheyenne, Wyoming, about 60 miles north of Fort Collins.

Zamora was off-duty when the shooting happened, the base statement said. He had served in the Air Force for more than 8 years.

McNealy, a 22-year-old senior arts major at CSU, was killed. McNealy was set to graduate in December.

She worked at Rocky Mountain Student Media Corp., which operates The Rocky Mountain Collegian, an independent newspaper at CSU.

Kemp, 26, of Destin, Florida, also was killed, police said.

Dierker is expected to survive her wounds, her father told the station.

"(Megan) just underwent her third surgery, and we are hopeful that she will recover," Chris Dierker said.

He expressed condolences to the families of those who died in the shooting – including the family of the suspected gunman.

"Our entire family wants to send our condolences to the families of Savannah, Tristian, and Michael," Chris Dierker said.

Police found two rifles and a handgun registered to Zamora at the scene, according to the Coloradoan.

Colorado State held a campus vigil for McNealy Friday evening.

"This tragedy, occurring so near our campus, brings into sharp focus the value of life everywhere," university president Tony Frank said in an email to students and employees. "As we head into the coming weekend, please take care of yourselves and one another."