Authorities say a suspect shot and killed four people and injured three others, including a police officer, in a shooting spree that began in Denver and ended in a nearby suburb following a gunfight with police in which the suspect was killed.
The “very violent series of events” began in Denver and ended in nearby Lakewood, according to Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen at a press conference late Monday.
Lakewood Police spokesman John Romero described the scene as “still very fresh” with “a lot of moving parts.”
“At this point, we’re still working out a lot of details,” Romero said late Monday.
Authorities said five people were killed, including the suspect. Three people were injured, one of whom was a police officer.
It was unclear whether the suspect was killed by a Lakewood agent, according to police.
According to Pazen, the shooting spree began shortly after 5 p.m. in Denver. According to him, the suspect fatally shot two women and injured a man at the first location. The suspect fatally shot a man at a second shooting location.
There was gunfire at a third location, but no one was hurt, according to Pazen.
Officers identified a car associated with the suspect and exchanged gunfire with them at a fourth location, according to Pazen. According to Pazen, the suspect disabled the police car and fled to the nearby suburb of Lakewood, Colorado.
Just before 6 p.m., Lakewood police received a report of shots fired at a business, and the victim was pronounced dead, according to Romero.
The suspect’s car was identified by Lakewood agents, but the suspect opened fire on the agents and fled on foot, according to Romero.
He said the suspect then threatened another business with a firearm before entering a Hyatt hotel and shooting the clerk, who was taken to the hospital. The suspect fled, shooting a Lakewood police officer. The suspect died in Lakewood, according to Romero, but it was unclear whether the suspect was killed by a Lakewood agent.
Authorities have not identified the suspect publicly, and they are looking for a motive.
“What started it all (this) is part of the investigation. We need to delve deeper into this to determine what motivated this “Pazen stated.
The officer’s identity has not been made public by authorities. Romero said late Monday that the agent was in the hospital undergoing surgery.
“We just ask that everyone in the community keep that agent and their family in their thoughts and prayers,” Romero said.
Following the shootings, dozens of people were trapped inside nearby businesses, and around 10 p.m. local time, a SWAT team with guns drawn entered the nearby Nordstrom Rack store. SWAT teams, according to authorities, checked the buildings out of caution. Lili Gilbert, 18, said she was working at Nordstrom Rack at the time of the shooting but didn’t hear anything right away. Customers and employees huddled in the back-stock area for hours, sharing bottled water, after police told them to lock the doors.
Gilbert said she and some customers saw a man’s body lying on the ground outside the store near the hotel as they were leaving the parking lot around 10:30 p.m. “I was terrified because the body was right there,” she explained.
The shooting in Denver According to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit that tracks gun violence across the country using a combination of police statistics and media reports, Monday was the 13th mass shooting in Colorado this year.
A mass shooting is defined by the archive as four or more people being shot, not including the shooter, at the same general time and location. There have been nearly 700 mass shootings in 2021, according to the archive.