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Crime and Courts

Colorado Springs police say mass shooting was fueled by domestic violence, identify seven people killed

“At the core of this horrendous act is domestic violence,” said Colorado Springs Police Department Chief Vince Niski

Family and friends of the victims who died in a shooting, comfort each down the street from the scene in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Sunday, May 9, 2021. The suspected shooter was the boyfriend of a female victim at the party attended by friends, family and children. He walked inside and opened fire before shooting himself, police said. Children at the attack weren’t hurt and were placed with relatives.(Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette via AP)

A mass shooting Sunday at a Colorado Springs mobile home where family members were gathered for a birthday party was fueled by domestic violence, police said Tuesday as they formally identified the seven people killed in the massacre, including the gunman. 

“At the core of this horrendous act is domestic violence,” said Colorado Springs Police Department Chief Vince Niski, speaking at a news conference.

Niski said the gunman, who was the boyfriend of one of the victims, was angry that he wasn’t invited to the party. He had a history of jealousy and possessiveness toward the woman, authorities said.

Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said he believes the shooting was the deadliest in his city’s history. It also appears to be the fourth deadliest mass shooting in state history and comes about a month after a gunman killed 10 people, including a police officer, at a Boulder King Soopers.

The six people killed by the gunman in the Colorado Springs attack were:

  • Melvin Perez, 30
  • Mayra Ibarra De Perez, 33
  • Joana Cruz, 52
  • Jose Gutierrez, 21
  • Sandra Ibarra-Perez, 28
  • Jose Ibarra, 26
The six victims, listen clockwise from top left: Joana Cruz, 52; Jose Gutierrez, 21; Melvin Perez, 30; Sandra Ibarra-Perez, 28; Jose Ibarra, 26; Mayra Ibarra De Perez, 33. (Colorado Springs Police Department handouts)

Police identified the gunman as 28-year-old Teodoro Macias of Colorado Springs. He had no criminal record.

The gunman had been dating Sandra Ibarra-Perez for about one year and there were no reports to police or family members of him physically hurting her. The suspect, however, allegedly tried to isolate Ibarra-Perez from her family and from attending events with them.

The suspect used a Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm handgun in the attack. Investigators found two 15-round magazines at the scene, both of which are legal under Colorado’s high-capacity magazine law which bans magazines that carry more than 15 rounds. 

Seventeen shell casings were found at the scene.

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The gun was purchased from a firearms dealer in 2014, though not by the suspect. Police are working to determine who bought the gun and get in contact with that person to discern how the suspect obtained the weapon. 

One adult who was in the mobile home where the shooting happened was able to escape unharmed. Three children were also at the home when the shooting happened.  They were ages 2, 5 and 11.Police said the kids, some of whom lost both parents in the shooting, were nearby when the massacre unfolded, though none of them were physically harmed.

Three others were at the party but not present when the shooting happened because they went to a neighbor’s home to retrieve an item. When they returned, they discovered the shooting scene. 

Police say the shooting happened at about 12:15 a.m. on Sunday at a trailer home on the 2800 block of Preakness Way in the Canterbury Park subdivision just west of the Colorado Springs Airport. The gunman arrived alone and began shooting at people immediately before taking his own life.

“We believe that he just showed up, entered the mobile home and started shooting,” Lt. Joe Frabbiele of the Colorado Springs Police Department’s violent crimes section.

Frabbiele said the suspect shot all six of his victims in “quick succession.”

Six of the victims, including the gunman, died at the scene. The seventh — Jose Gutierrez — died at a Colorado Springs hospital.

Chief Niski said an investigation into the shooting remains ongoing.

“We still have a few unanswered questions,” Frabbiele said, “some of which relates to that firearm. Our investigators are working very, very diligently to get as many answers as we possibly can for the family members who have survived this tragic event.”