A gunman shot 6 adults at a birthday party early Sunday morning before turning the gun on himself, according to Colorado authorities. The event took place at the Canterbury Mobile Home Park on Preakness Way off Powers Boulevard in Colorado Springs shortly after 12:20 am and is the state’s worst mass shooting since March 22nd’s Boulder supermarket shooting of 10 people. It is also the deadliest, according to Colorado Springs Police Department historian Dwight Haverkorn.
A woman living nearby, Yenifer Reyes, described the scene as shocking, stating she woke to gunshots and initially thought it was a thunderstorm before she started hearing sirens. Another neighbor, Marvin Romero, also stated he was asleep when it happened, waking to the sound of “Boom, boom, boom” and thinking it was a hammer on concrete. According to Colorado Springs police Lt. James Sokolik, the shooter “…drove to the residence, walked inside, and began shooting people at the party before taking his own life.”
The party attacked was one being held in celebration of multiple birthdays in a tight-knit family. Nubia Marquez, with her husband Freddy Marquez, was turning 28 Sunday, and her brother and mother (Melvin Perez and Joana Cruz) were turning 31 and 54 respectively this week. Both Melvin and Joana are sadly among the deceased, alongside Nubia Marquez’s other brother, Jose Guttierez, 21; Melvin Perez’s wife, Mayra Perez, 32; and Mayra Perez’s sister Sandra Ibarra and brother Jose Ibarra. However, according to authorities, none of the children present at the event were injured, and are currently with relatives.
The suspected shooter was identified by Nubia’s husband Freddy as Sandra Ibarra’s ex-boyfriend, a man they only knew as the nickname Junior. Though he had only met the man once, Marquez described him as “quiet” and “serious,” with, “nothing out of the ordinary” about him. “Police have stated that as of Sunday night no motive is clear, but the department’s Violent Crimes Unit is already leading an investigation.
In a statement, Gov. Jared Polis offered both his prayers and condolences to the victims and anyone impacted by the killings. “The tragic shooting in Colorado Springs is devastating, especially as many of us are spending the day celebrating the women in our lives who have made us the people we are today,” he said. “Multiple lives were taken today by this terrible act of violence. Families torn apart, and at a birthday party no less.”