Colorado Springs mass shooting victims mourned by family and friends
Colorado Springs first responders arrived at the mobile home where six people were massacred Sunday so quickly that shots were still ringing out as they drew near.
“Sounds like more shots are still being fired, keep a good distance,” a dispatcher warned firefighters as they neared the home in Canterbury Mobile Home Park about six minutes after the attack began around 12:18 a.m.
The first responders prepared for multiple victims and called for more ambulances. But when paramedics stepped inside the mobile home at approximately 12:29 a.m., they realized they didn’t need more lifesaving help, according to recorded radio traffic. Six of the seven people shot were already dead.
“I don’t think we’re going to need all these additional resources that are coming,” one firefighter said over the radio at about 12:36 a.m.
Colorado Springs police released no new details about the attack Monday as they continued to investigate what might have motivated the shooter to walk into a family’s birthday party and kill his girlfriend, five family members and then himself. Investigators plan to hold a news conference on the case Tuesday afternoon.
“We know there are still a lot of questions into what exactly happened, why it happened and all the details in between,” Colorado Springs police officials wrote in a tweet. “Our investigators, detectives and victim advocates are determinedly working to find those answers.”
As the names of those killed became more widely known Monday, family and friends began to publicly mourn the victims.
“Today I lost my mother… brothers… and my sister-in-law,” Esmeralda Gutierrez wrote on Facebook on Sunday. “I ask everyone to keep my family in (their) prayers today as we go through this difficult time.”
A longtime family friend, Alisha Morales, on Monday identified those who died as husband and wife Melvin and Mayra Perez, and Melvin’s brother, Jose Gutierrez. The men’s mother, Joana Cruz, also was killed, as well as Mayra’s siblings, Sandra Ibarra and Jose Ibarra, Morales confirmed.
She did not identify the shooter. None of the dead have been publicly identified by the El Paso County coroner.
Morales’ plea on Facebook for donations to pay for six funerals raised more than $13,000 from nearly 200 people. Family members of the victims could not be reached for comment Monday, but friends and coworkers remembered the victims as kindhearted and positive people.
Sandra Ibarra was a mother and an assertive, independent woman, said Estephany Perez, a friend who met Ibarra about six years ago when they both worked at Five Guys. Ibarra rarely discussed challenges in her life and was a positive person, Perez said.
“I think Sandra really just wanted peace in her life,” Perez said.
Perez also knew Jose Ibarra, Sandra’s brother, as they both attended Mitchell High School. Jose Ibarra was an outgoing person beloved by all in the school’s Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program, she said.
Another of those slain, Mayra Perez, worked for Reynolds Roofing Systems, the company said in a statement.
“Mayra was a great employee and a friend,” owner Todd Reynolds wrote on the Facebook fundraiser. He declined to comment further Monday, but in the statement, the company said Mayra Perez was a “dedicated mother and good person.”
“It’s a tragic and unnecessary loss of life,” the statement said.
Sunday’s attack was the second mass shooting in Colorado in two months, coming just weeks after a gunman killed 10 people in a Boulder grocery store — another attack where first responders prepared for an onslaught of wounded survivors that never came.
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