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Official police account: Suspect killed 6 people in Colorado Springs because he wasn’t invited to a family gathering

Published: May. 11, 2021 at 3:26 PM MDT|Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 8:53 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Police believe the person suspected of killing six people in cold blood did so because he wasn’t invited to a party.

The Colorado Springs police chief said the shooting is the result of domestic violence, stemming from power and control issues in a relationship.

Before sharing the details that police provided on the weekend shooting, 11 News wanted to remind the public of TESSA of Colorado Springs. TESSA provides support and resources to those impacted by domestic violence. You can call their 24-hour Safe Line at 719-633-3819.

“No family should ever have to experience this type of loss,” Colorado Springs Police Chief Vince Niski stated on Tuesday.

Chief Niski was referring to the horrific act that was carried out early Sunday morning. A gunman opened fire during a birthday party. It happened in a home on Preakness Way at the Canterbury Manufactured Home Community on the east side of the city. Police received the first of three 911 calls at about 12:18 in the morning.

According to investigators, the boyfriend of one of the victims has a history of controlling and jealous behavior. However, the suspect had no criminal record tied to domestic violence. Police say the suspect kept his girlfriend from attending family gatherings in the past, and was upset he wasn’t invited to the celebration on Sunday. Armed with one gun and two 15-round clips, police say the suspect carried out the violent act claiming the lives of six people before taking his own life. The gun he allegedly used was not reported stolen, but police say the suspect was not the one who purchased it. Investigators say the gun was purchased from a dealer in 2014.

Police believe the suspect and one of the victims were together for about a year. The suspect, identified as Teodoro Macias, had no prior arrests. Police add there was some type of “conflict” between the suspect and the family at a different gathering about a week earlier.

At the time of the shooting three kids, ages 2, 5 and 11 were in the home. None of the children were physically harmed during the crime.

THE VICTIMS:

Melvin Perez, 30

Mayra Ibarra De Perez, 33, wife of Melvin

Joana Cruz, 52, mother Melvin

Jose Gutierrez, 21, brother of Melvin

Sandra Ibarra-Perez, 28, sister of Mayra Perez

Jose Ibarra, 26, brother of Mayra Perez

The following is the official account of the incident as written by the Colorado Springs Police Department:

Summary of Events (via CSPD):

When the suspect arrived, there were 10 family members present at the residence. Seven adults, and three children ages 2, 5, and 11.

We have recovered evidence showing the suspects arrival to the scene, and know he arrived alone.

The suspect entered the residence, and shot all six victims in quick succession, in a methodical, direct and deliberate manner. The suspect then shot himself shortly thereafter.

One adult family member was able to escape the residence unharmed, as the shooting occurred.

The three children remained inside the residence during the occurrence, and were unharmed. The evidence supports the children were in close proximity to the shooting event, and to some degree witnessed what occurred.

Three additional family members, ages 16, 16, and 18 had left the residence shortly before the shooting, to retrieve an item from a neighbor. Unaware the shooting had occurred in their absence, they returned to the residence to discover what happened. They attempted to render aid, and gave shelter to the younger children.

The police response arrived shortly thereafter, with medical units staging nearby accordingly. The first arriving officers encountered the unharmed victims and additional family members inside the residence, and moved them to safety. They identified one victim that was alive but gravely wounded (Jose Gutierrez-Cruz) inside the residence. They received information from this victim that the suspect was still inside the residence. This information was accurate, but they were unaware the suspect was deceased. As a result, they made a tactical entry, unsure if the suspect was still active within the residence. They were able to shield the surviving victim while clearing the residence, and immediately began rendering medical assistance while continuing to clear and secure the residence.

As soon as the residence was secured, the lone surviving victim was transported to a medical facility for advanced lifesaving efforts. A secondary sweep was then conducted inside the residence with medical personnel, to check for signs of life with all the individuals who remained inside the residence.

Detectives assigned to the violent crimes section Homicide/Assault Unit were notified a short time later, and responded to assume responsibility for the ongoing investigation.

Motive (via CSPD):

The suspect had been dating one of the victims (Sandra Ibarra) for approximately one year. The suspect was not invited to the family gathering and evidence supports that not receiving an invitation upset him.

The suspect had a history of controlling and jealous behavior toward the victim. This behavior in particular was most obvious with trying to isolate her from her family, and making efforts to prevent her from attending family events.

Suspect Criminal History

There are no prior reported domestic related occurrences between the two in local police databases. Further, police have not learned of any unreported physical altercations between the two, during the course of their one-year relationship.

Weapon Information

The firearm used was a Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm semi-automatic pistol. It was purchased from a dealer (local gun store) in 2014.

The suspect did not purchase the firearm during this transaction. Follow up is being conducted to locate and interview the individual who purchased the firearm originally. This is the only listed transaction for this firearm.

The ownership records for the life of the firearm, and how and when the suspect came to possess this firearm are unknown at this time. Investigative efforts will continue in an attempt to answer these questions.

Colorado Springs Police Department Statistics

2020 Homicide Statistics

Total of 39 victims

9 of the 39 were domestic-violence related

2021 Homicide Statistics (through May 11, 2021)

Total of 15 victims

8 of the 15 were domestic-violence related

Domestic Violence Statistics (as of March 2021)

Persons Crime domestic violence rate is 37%

373 cases of aggravated assault

117 were domestic violence related

DVs make up 32% of all aggravated assault cases

503 cases of simple assault

271 were domestic violence related

DV’s make up 44% of all simple assault cases

TESSA Information

TESSA will provide free and voluntary services to people who identify as experiencing domestic violence. TESSA will not refuse, withhold, or deny services to any current or prospective clients on the basis of income, gender identify, gender expression, religious beliefs, actual or perceived sexual orientation, immigration status, age, race, creed, ethnicity, color, national origin, marital status, spoken language, disability, or military status. TESSA will ensure that all current or prospective clients receive this information either verbally or posted in public areas.

Learn more on their website, or you can call their 24-hour safe line at 719-633-3819.

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