Denver area shooting spree leaves 5 dead including shooter; officer wounded
The suspect wounded at least 3 others, including a Lakewood police officer who required surgery
By Joe Rubino
The Denver Post
DENVER, Colo. — A deadly shooting spree across multiple locations in Denver and Lakewood ended on Monday night when the suspect was shot and killed on the streets of Lakewood's busy Belmar shopping district, officials say.
The suspect is believed to have killed four people and wounded at least three others including a Lakewood police officer who required surgery Monday night, according to John Romero, a Lakewood Police Department spokesman. Romero's comments about the violence came at a news conference Monday night held just across the street from Belmar, which Lakewood bills as its downtown.
Romero was joined by Denver police Chief Paul Pazen who referred to events of the night as a "killing spree." The investigation is ongoing but the two police departments believe one unidentified man is to blame.
"We believe this individual was responsible for this very violent series of events that took place in the Denver-metro area," Pazen said.
Pazen laid out the following summary of events, which he says started around 5 p.m. Monday:
- The suspect shot and killed two women and wounded a man near the intersection of East First Avenue and Broadway.
- A short time later, the suspect shot and killed a man in the area of East 12th Avenue and Williams Street in Denver's Cheesman Park neighborhood.
- The suspect fired shots near the intersection of West Sixth Avenue and Cherokee Street. No one is believed to have been injured in this shooting near the Denver Health hospital campus.
- Denver police spotted what they believed to be the suspect's vehicle near Eighth Avenue and Zuni Street and tried to pull him over. The suspect exchanged gunfire with officers and a Denver police vehicle was disabled.
From there, it is believed the suspect drove to Lakewood. Police in that city got a call about a shooting inside a business in the 1500 block of Kipling Street near the intersection of Kipling and West Colfax Avenue, Romero said. The victim there died.
Romero said Lakewood police spotted the suspect's vehicle and tried to make a stop near the Belmar district. The suspect fired at officers who shot back.
The suspect eluded police and then fled on foot, Romero said. He went into two businesses including the Hyatt hotel near the corner of South Vance Street and West Alaska Drive where he shot a clerk, according to Romero. The extent of that person's injuries was not immediately available Monday night.
Shortly after that, the suspect encountered a Lakewood officer and shot the officer. As of Monday's evening news conference, that officer was still in surgery, Romero said.
"We just ask everyone in our community for their thoughts and prayers for that agent and their family," Romero said.
From there, the exchange of gunfire continued. Finally, the suspect was shot and killed, according to Romero. Romero could not say whether or not the suspect was killed by a Lakewood police officer.
"Still unsure exactly if it was by Lakewood police or not but he was then pronounced dead at the scene," Romero said. "At this point, we do not believe there is any additional safety concern to the community."
At Monday's news conference, officials said Lakewood and Denver police would maintain a heavy presence in the Belmar area throughout the night.
Officials said that a motive for the violence has not yet been determined.
"We need to really dig and find out what the motivation behind this was," Pazen said.
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