Seven people are dead, including the suspected gunman, after a mass shooting early Sunday at a home in Colorado Springs where a birthday party was being held.
Police say the shooting happened at about 12:15 a.m. at a trailer home on the 2800 block of Preakness Way in the Canterbury Park subdivision just west of the Colorado Springs Airport.
The suspected gunman was a boyfriend of one of the female victims, according to police. Authorities say he walked inside the home “and began shooting people at the party before taking his own life.”
“Friends, family, and children were gathered inside the trailer to celebrate when the shooting occurred. … The children at the trailer were uninjured by the suspect and are now with relatives. We are still investigating to determine a motive,” police said in a news release.
The names of the victims and suspect have not been released. Six people died at the scene while the seventh died at a hospital.
Police called the shooting a “horrific act.”
Marvin Romero, who lives near where the shooting happened, said his wife woke him up after she heard loud noises outside. He said it sounded like someone was hammering on concrete.
“When I woke up, I saw … cops out in front of my house,” he said.
Romero said when he tried to see what was going on a police officer ordered him back inside, saying there had been a shooting. He said he didn’t notice the party where the shooting occurred beforehand.
Several other neighbors also told The Colorado Sun they didn’t hear any commotion before the shooting.
One person who lives near the trailer where the shooting happened shared a photo of a shattered window at the home.
The Colorado Springs Gazette reports that the birthday party was being held for three people. Nubia Marquez told the newspaper she was at the party and when she left at about 10 p.m. “everybody was calm.”
Nubia and her husband, Freddy, told The Gazette the victims were all related.
Archived emergency radio traffic shows that first responders initially dispatched only a few ambulances to the scene but quickly realized more were needed as police reached the home. Upon further investigation, however, six of the seven wounded people were already dead.
“I don’t think we’re going to need all these additional resources,” someone, apparently a firefighter, said over the emergency channel.
Colorado’s latest mass shooting comes a little more than a month after a gunman opened fire in a Boulder King Soopers, killing 10 people, including a police officer. Colorado Springs has experienced at least two other mass shootings in recent years, including a random Halloween 2015 rampage and the November 2015 massacre at a Planned Parenthood clinic in the city.
“When these types of unspeakable acts happen, there is nothing that can be done to fully rebuild what was lost or replace those who are no longer with us,” Colorado Springs Police Department Chief Vince Niski said in a written statement. “My vow to this community and to the families who have lost someone today, is that this department will do everything we can to find you the answers you deserve and be here for you with an unwavering support.”
Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers echoed the sentiment.
“Today we find ourselves mourning the loss of lives and praying solemnly for those who were injured and those who lost family members in a senseless act of violence on Sunday morning,” Suthers said in a written statement. “We think too of the emergency personnel who responded to a horrific scene and we keep them in our prayers today.”
Gov. Jared Polis released a statement calling the shooting “devastating.”
“Multiple lives were taken today by this terrible act of violence. Families torn apart, and at a birthday party no less,” Polis said. “My deepest condolences and prayers are with the victims, their families, and everyone else impacted by this tragedy.”
Anyone who has information about the shooting or who is a witness who has not spoken with detectives is asked to call the Colorado Springs Police Department at (719) 444-7000. Tipsters can remain anonymous by contacting the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at (719) 634-STOP (7867) or 1-800-222-8477.