Seven people are dead after a man opened fire inside a birthday party at a mobile home in Colorado Springs overnight, minutes into the Mother’s Day holiday, according to police.
The killings happened just after midnight Sunday morning at the Canterbury Mobile Home Park on Preakness Way, on the east side of the city. Officers, dispatched on report of a shooting, arrived at a trailer to find six dead adults and a man with serious injuries. That man later died at the hospital, Colorado Springs police said in a Sunday news release.
The suspect, the boyfriend of a female victim, drove to a trailer where a birthday party was being held with friends, family and children. He walked inside and began shooting party attendees before taking his own life, police said, adding that the children present “are now with relatives.”
In a Sunday statement Colorado Gov. Jared Polis called the mass murder a “terrible act of violence,” occurring as “many of us are spending the day celebrating the women in our lives who have made us the people we are today.”
“Families torn apart, and at a birthday party, no less,” he said.
A woman who lives nearby in the mobile home park said she awoke in the middle of the night to the sound of what she believes were gunshots and eventually heard crying outside. Two young children were put in the back of a patrol car.
“And on Mothers Day,” said the woman, who did not wish to be named.
Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers called the mass shooting a “senseless act of violence” and asked for the public’s patience as the police department investigates.
“Today we find ourselves mourning the loss of lives and praying solemnly for those who were injured and those who lost family members,” Suthers said in a Sunday statement. “We think too of the emergency personnel who responded to a horrific scene and we keep them in our prayers today.”
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Colorado Springs Police Chief Vince Niski said officers and investigators who responded “are all left incredibly shaken.”
“This is something you hope never happens in your own community, in the place that you call home,” he 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.”
The investigation is ongoing, with the department’s Violent Crimes Section leading it. The names of the victims and the suspect will be released once the coroner has identified them, officials said.
Those with information about the murders who have not spoken with detectives are asked to call the Colorado Springs Police Department at (719) 444-7000, or the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at (719) 634-STOP (7867) or 1-800-222-8477, if they wish to remain anonymous.
This is a developing story and will be updated.