Colorado birthday party shooting suspect killed 6 because he was not invited, police say
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Colorado Springs Police Department held a news conference Tuesday and released the names of the victims of the mass shooting that left seven people dead, including the gunman, on May 9.
During the news conference, Colorado Springs Police Lt. Joe Frabelle revealed the possible motive behind the shooting, stating that the suspect opened fire on the victims because he was not invited to the party.
Frabelle said that the shooter had been in a relationship with one of the victims for about a year and had a history of controlling and jealous behavior. Police said the gunman had no previous reported incidents of domestic violence during the relationship and didn't have a criminal history.
Frabelle identified the gunman as 28-year-old Teodoro Macias. The victims were members of his girlfriend’s extended family.
Investigators don’t know yet how the suspect obtained the weapon, which Labelle described as a Smith & Wesson handgun. He said it was originally purchased by someone else in 2014 at local gun store but was not reported stolen. The suspect had two 15-round magazines, one of which was empty, and police recovered 17 spent shells at the scene.
The shooting, which took place at a birthday party inside a home in Colorado Springs, follows a series of mass shootings across the United States this year, including one on March 22 at a crowded supermarket in Boulder, Colorado, that killed 10 people including a police officer. The gunman in that attack faces multiple charges including first-degree murder. He has yet to enter a plea pending a mental health evaluation requested by his public defenders.
Police on Monday were investigating what led the gunman in Colorado Springs to walk into the crowded party early May 9 and open fire.
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Six adults were killed at the home at the Canterbury Mobile Home Park on the east side of Colorado's second-largest city, and a seventh died at a hospital, authorities said. The shooter was the boyfriend of a female victim at the party attended by friends, family and children, police said.
Outside the modest home where the tragedy took place, a small crowd of mourners paid their respects, leaving bouquets of yellow roses and devotional candles on a small table. They hugged each other and left without comment under a dark, gray sky. Someone closed a partially open window in the home from the outside.
Neighbor Gladis Bustos tearfully recalled the home’s owner, whom she identified as Joana, as a warmhearted, hardworking person who always took the time to say hello to her neighbors, ask how they were doing, and brag about her children.
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"She was an incredibly pleasant woman, very beautiful, happy all the time," Bustos said. "She loved to chat. And she was very proud of her family."
"We’re all in shock," Bustos added. "How can this happen here? This is all so painful, so devastating, so overwhelming."
The attack was the latest mass killing — defined as four or more dead, not including the shooter — to plague the U.S. this year. Before the Colorado Springs shooting, a database compiled by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University showed there had been at least 11 mass shootings since Jan. 1, compared to just two public mass shootings in 2020.
Colorado Springs also saw a 2015 attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic that killed three people, including a police officer, and injured eight others. Earlier that year, a man shot three people to death at random before dying in a shootout with police.
In 2007, a man killed two people and wounded three at Colorado Springs' New Life Church before taking his own life. Earlier the same day, he'd killed two people and injured two at a Youth With a Mission Center in the Denver suburb of Arvada.
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Colorado also suffered the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School that killed 13 people before the two student attackers took their own lives, and the 2012 massacre at the Aurora movie theater that killed 12 people and injured 70.
After the Boulder shooting, Colorado lawmakers introduced a bill to create a state "Office of Gun Violence Prevention" to educate residents about gun safety and collect data on Colorado gun violence. Other bills advancing through the Democrat-led Legislature would tighten background checks, allow municipalities greater freedom to adopt their own gun control laws that are stricter than state law, and require a person facing a protection order related to alleged domestic violence to report what firearms they possess.
Democratic Gov. Jared Polis has signed into law this year legislation requiring safe firearms storage and the reporting of lost or stolen firearms.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.