Colorado Springs, CO – A gunman murdered six people during a birthday party early Mother’s Day morning before turning the gun on himself, according to police.
The attack occurred at a residence in the Canterbury Mobile Home Park on Preakness Way shortly after midnight on May 9, The Gazette reported.
Investigators said the shooter was the boyfriend of one of the female victims.
The woman was attending a birthday party with other family members, children, and friends when the gunman showed up and opened fire, The Gazette reported.
He gunned down six people, including his girlfriend, before fatally shooting himself, police said.
According to investigators, the children who were present at the time of the attack were not struck by the gunfire and “are now with relatives,” Reuters reported.
A neighbor told The Denver Post the kids “were crying hysterically” when police brought them out of the home.
Investigators said they are still working to determine a motive.
Nubia Marquez, 28, told The Gazette on Sunday that her family gathered Saturday night to celebrate her birthday as well as those of her brother, 30-year-old Melvin Perez, and their mother, 53-year-old Joana Cruz.
“My mom had always liked celebrating them together,” Nubia Marquez said.
Her husband, Freddy Marquez, said he and his wife and their four children went to the party at Cruz’s home and left at about 10 p.m., The Denver Post reported.
“Everybody was calm,” Nubia Marquez told The Gazette. “Everybody was good.”
Freddy Marquez said that the son of one of the women at the party called him crying shortly after midnight, Reuters reported.
“Somebody came in and shot everybody,” he said, according to Freddy Marquez.
Cruz and Melvin Perez were both murdered in the attack, as well as Melvin Perez’s wife, 32-year-old Mayra Perez, and Nubia Marquez’s other brother, 21-year-old Jose Guttierez, The Gazette reported.
Mayra Perez’s siblings, Jose Ibarra and Sandra Ibarra, were also killed.
Freddy Marquez said he only knew the shooter by the name of “Junior.”
He said Junior, who had been Sandra Ibarra’s boyfriend, was “serious” and “quiet” and always carried a firearm, but that nothing about him seemed “out of the ordinary,” The Gazette reported.
Colorado Springs Police Chief Vince Niski said the law enforcement officers who responded to the scene were “all left incredibly shaken,” according to the paper.
“My heart breaks for the families who have lost someone they love and for the children who have lost their parents,” Chief Niski said, according to the Associated Press.
“This is something you hope never happens in your own community, in the place that you call home,” he continued. “My vow to this community and to the families who have lost someone today is that this department will do everything we can to find you the answers you deserve and be here for you with an unwavering support.”
Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers said the attack was a “senseless act of violence,” The Gazette reported.
“Today we find ourselves mourning the loss of lives and praying solemnly for those who were injured and those who lost family members,” Suthers said in a statement released on Sunday. “We think, too, of the emergency personnel who responded to a horrific scene and we keep them in our prayers today.”
Colorado Governor Jared Polis offered his condolences in a statement on Sunday, The Denver Post reported.
“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,” Polis said. “Multiple lives were taken today by this terrible act of violence. Families torn apart, and at a birthday party no less.”