Police kill gunman, find 3 more dead in Colo. home
AURORA, Colo. (AP) — SWAT officers who stormed a Colorado home where a gunman had holed up found a horrific scene — four dead bodies, including that of the gunman.
Police said the armed man fired shots at officers Saturday from a second-story window before officers killed him. Once inside, they found the bodies of three other adults.
The suspect, whose name was withheld by police, held officers at bay for nearly six hours after neighbors reported gunfire at 3 a.m. inside the modest town house in the Denver suburb of Aurora, said police Sgt. Cassidee Carlson.
It wasn’t known if officers shot the suspect or if he shot himself.
Investigators said two men and a woman appeared to have been killed before officers arrived.
The suspect shot at police who approached the front of the home with an armored vehicle and who fired tear gas around 8:15 a.m. He was killed when he fired at officers from the second-story window about 45 minutes later, Sgt. Carlson said.
“After we arrived on scene, there were no more shots fired up until he fired at us,” Sgt. Carlson said. “During this time he was all over the house. He moved furniture. He was throwing things. He was agitated. He was irrational.”
A large front window was missing in the two-story town house, the window’s miniblinds in disarray. Bullet holes marked two upstairs windows, and neighbors milled about outside.
A fifth person escaped unharmed and called police to report that she saw three people inside the home who “appeared lifeless,” said Sgt. Carlson, who declined to elaborate about the woman’s escape.
A motive for the killings was unknown, and police had yet to say what weapon or weapons were used. Investigators wearing gloves and carrying evidence bags were going over the crime scene.
Police declined to release the victims’ names.
“We have an idea of who they are, but we obviously want to confirm their identities with the coroner,” said Sgt. Carlson, who declined to release the relationship between the victims and the shooter.
Officers evacuated neighbors’ homes during the standoff and used a bullhorn to communicate with the gunman, urging him to surrender.
Next-door neighbor Melissa Wright, a nurse who treated victims of the July movie theater shootings in Aurora, said she was in her second-floor bedroom when she saw the gunman start shooting from his own bedroom window. She said she didn’t know what he was shooting at and that she quickly dropped to the floor.
“I hit the ground pretty fast,” Ms. Wright said.