Affidavit released in UCCS double murder, suspect appears in court

Posted at 1:41 PM, February 23, 2024

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (Scripps News Denver/Court TV) — A Michigan man accused of killing two people at a university in Colorado Springs was denied a reduction of bond on Friday morning, just before his arrest affidavit was released.

Nicholas Jordan has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Samuel Knopp, 24, and Celie Rain Montgomery, 26, in a University of Colorado-Colorado Springs dorm on Feb. 16.

Nicholas Jordan at first court appearance

Nicholas Jordan, 25, appears for a hearing at the El Paso County 4th Judicial Court, Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, in Colorado Springs Colo. Jordan was arrested Monday, Feb. 19, in the deaths of his roommate, Samuel Knopp, 24, and Celie Rain Montgomery, 26, at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. (Parker Seibold/The Gazette via AP, Pool)

Friday’s hearing 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 David Shakes said the affidavit is “very bare bones” and did not contain any information that would “inflame the passions of the community.”

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, prosecutors said.

Judge Shakes ultimately denied the bond reduction request and set a status conference for March 15 and a preliminary hearing for March 27.

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.

combo image of university of colorado victims

(L) Samuel Knopp (Scripps News Colorado Springs), (R) Celie Rain Montgomery (Colorado Springs PD)

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.”

The caller also told police about an instance when Knopp had asked Jordan to take out the trash and Jordan said 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.

While talking with police, the caller also 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.

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 an electronic access number. 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 shows 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 license plate number. He confirmed his address that day, 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. Knopp was a registered student. Montgomery was not.

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

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

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

This story was originally published by Scripps News Denver, an E.W. Scripps Company.