COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) — Problems had been brewing between a girlfriend and boyfriend for a year before a mass shooting that left seven people, including the suspected gunman, dead over the weekend in Colorado Springs.
Colorado Springs police say the suspect, 28-year-old Teodoro Macias, was upset over not being invited to a family birthday his girlfriend Sandra Ibarra was attending Saturday night.
Just after midnight, Macias went into the home with a Smith and Wesson semi-automatic handgun and started shooting.
On Tuesday, police released the names of those killed and the details of what happened.
Police said two families connected by marriage were celebrating several birthdays together Saturday night.
Around midnight, three teenagers went to a neighboring home to pick something up, and while they were gone the suspect arrived and began shooting.
Police say there were seven adults and three children inside at the time of the shooting. One adult was able to escape unharmed and none of the children were physically harmed, but the other six adults all died.
The victims have been identified as:
- Sandra Ibarra-Perez, 28
- Jose Ibarra, 26
- Mayra Ibarra De Perez, 33
- Melvin Perez, 30
- Jose Gutierrez, 21
- Joana Cruz, 52
When the teenagers who had left returned, they discovered what had happened and began trying to help their family members who were injured. One person who was shot was still alive when officers arrived but died after being taken to the hospital.
The family of the victims told Univision Denver that the shooter had called his girlfriend Sandra Ibarra. When she didn’t answer the phone, he showed up and started shooting and also killed himself.
Surviving family members told police the suspect had a history of abusing and controlling his girlfriend who was at the party, although the suspect did not have any criminal history.
There was a reported conflict between the suspect and the family, according to police.
“At the corner of this horrendous act is domestic violence,” the Colorado Springs police chief said.
Police say the three children were in close proximity to where the shooting occurred and likely witnessed what happened. They are 2, 5 and 11 years old. One of the children lost both parents, police said.
Back at the trailer home where the six family members were shot and killed, photos of the victims now stand among a growing memorial.
Betty Cisneros was a friend of Joana’s and brought flowers to her memorial.
“I feel very sad for all of the family that lost their loved ones, especially on Mother’s Day. This shouldn’t have happened for a jealous outrage,” said Cisneros.
It was Nubia Marquez’s birthday party. She left before the shooting broke out.
Nubia says she lost her mother, two brothers, a sister-in-law and her brother and sister.
Police made a point of only using the suspect’s name one time during a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
The suspect was not the owner of the handgun that was used, and according to investigators, the only legal sale of the gun was when it was initially purchased in 2014.
Detectives are now searching for the person who purchased that weapon.
Investigators said this is the deadliest shooting attack in Colorado Springs history and the fourth deadliest in state history.