Seven people shot dead after gunman opens fire at Colorado birthday party

Katie Ramirez
May 12, 2021

A gunman opened fire at a birthday party in Colorado, killing six people in the early hours of Sunday before taking his own life, U.S. police said.

The Colorado Springs Police Department identified the victims of Sunday's shooting as Melvin Perez, 30, Mayra Ibarra de Perez, 33, Jose Gutierrez-Cruz, 21, Joana Cruz, 52, Sandra Ibarra-Perez, 28, and Jose Ibarra, 26.

Police said they withheld releasing details of the shooting for several hours "in order to properly and respectfully notify family members of the deceased and ensure support was in place".

"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", Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said in a statement. One of the victims was the one celebrating a birthday, police said.

"Words fall short to describe the tragedy that took place this morning", Colorado Springs Police Chief Vince Niski said in a statement.

The shooter, 28-year-old Teodoro Macias, had been in a relationship with one of the victims, 28-year-old Sandra Ibarra, for about a year and had history of controlling and jealous behavior, Colorado Springs police Lt. Joe Frabbiele said at a news conference.

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There were children attending the party who were not wounded in the shooting. The children are now with relatives.

The children were near where the shooting took place but were found unharmed. The gunman had two 15-round magazines, one of which was empty, and police recovered 17 spent shells at the scene.

The suspected shooter - believed to be a boyfriend of one of the victims - is also dead, according to Colorado Springs Police.

Authorities were not sure how Macias came to possess the weapon. The gun was purchased at a gun store in 2014 but not by the suspect.

The gun was not reported stolen and the serial was not damaged, he added. Three teens, ages 16, 16, and 18, had left the residence before the shooting to get something from a neighbor.

He was referring to a March 22 attack on a King Soopers supermarket in Boulder, Colorado, that killed 10 people, including a police officer, and a 2012 shooting at a movie theater in the Denver suburb of Aurora that killed 12 and injured 70. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis' statement centered around the fact that this happened on Mother's Day, saying, "Many of us are spending the day celebrating the women in our lives who have made us the people we are today".

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