Sen. Pete Lee, D-Colorado Springs, asks for a moment of silence for the victims of a shooting in his district, on May 10, 2021. (Colorado Channel screenshot)
Less than two months after a shooter massacred 10 people at a Boulder grocery store, another gunman took the lives of seven people, including himself, at an apparent birthday party in Colorado Springs, according to a statement from the Colorado Springs Police Department.
Police responded to a call for service at Canterbury Mobile Home Park shortly after midnight Saturday, the statement said. At a trailer in the 2800 block of Preakness Way, officers found six deceased adults and one adult man with serious injuries, whom responders transported to a local hospital. The injured man died at the hospital.
Based on evidence and early interviews, CSPD believes the shooting occurred at a birthday party, according to the police statement. Children were among the family members and friends gathered to celebrate.
Police believe the suspect was the boyfriend of one of the slain women. According to CSPD, the man drove to the mobile home, walked inside and fired at party guests before turning the gun on himself.
None of the children at the party was hurt, police said, and the kids are now staying with relatives. Detectives haven’t determined the shooter’s motive.
“My heart breaks for the families who have lost someone they love and for the children who have lost their parents,” Police Chief Vince Niski said in the statement. “From the officers who responded to the shooting to the investigators still on scene, we are all left incredibly shaken.”
A homicide investigation is still underway. Law enforcement will release the names of the victims and suspect after the El Paso County Coroner’s Office officially identifies them.
“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,” Niski said. “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 called the mass shooting a “senseless act of violence.”
“We find ourselves mourning the loss of lives and praying solemnly for those who were injured and those who lost family members,” Suthers was quoted as saying in CSPD’s statement. “We think too of the emergency personnel who responded to a horrific scene and we keep them in our prayers today.”
Suthers asked for patience as law enforcement conducts an investigation and called for “sensitivity” from media organizations.
CSPD asks anyone with information about the shooting to contact the department by calling 719-444-7000. People who wish to remain anonymous can call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 719-634-STOP (7867) or 1-800-222-8477.
“While it is premature to understand what actually took place and motivated it, this event is incomprehensible in our consciousness,” state Sen. Pete Lee, a Colorado Springs Democrat, said in remarks on the Senate floor May 10. “Preliminary reports suggest that this was a case of domestic violence resulting in an execution.”
Lee said he hoped lawmakers could look at this and other mass shootings in Colorado for common elements “that may lead us to answers and the beginning of healing.” At Lee’s request, Senate legislators then bowed their heads in a brief moment of silence for the victims and their families.
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