Police: Suspect who killed 6 at Colorado birthday party was angry about not being invited
Law enforcement in Colorado Springs, Colo., say that the suspect who killed six people and took his own life in front of a group of children at a birthday party over the weekend was upset because he had not been invited.
The suspect, 28-year-old Teodoro Macias, had been dating one of the victims, Sandra Ibarra-Perez, for a year and he had not been invited to the family gathering, police said in a statement on Tuesday.
“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,” authorities said.
While the investigation is still ongoing, Lt. Joe Frabbiele said at the press conference that the alleged motive had been determined based on interviews with family members and phone communications between the suspect and Ibarra-Perez, 28. There were no previous reported domestic violence incidents between the couple.
Macias reportedly showed up to the party alone and entered the mobile home where the gathering took place early Sunday morning. Ten people were inside at the time, including seven adults and three children ages 2, 5 and 11.
“He had anger directed at the adults and his partner, and the tragic consequences are awful,” said Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers.
Macias allegedly opened fire on the family “in quick succession, in a methodical, direct and deliberate manner,” police said. Macias then allegedly turned the gun on himself.
One adult managed to escape the home and ran to call 911 while the three children remained inside during the shooting. They ran into a bedroom to seek cover and were unharmed.
“The evidence supports the children were in close proximity to the event and to some degree witnessed what happened,” police said.
Three teenagers in the family had left the house shortly before the violence broke out to retrieve an item from a neighbor. They returned to discover the gruesome scene and began attempting to render aid and provide shelter to the younger children.
Investigators discovered the gun used in the shooting underneath Macias’s body, Frabbiele said. The Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm semi-automatic pistol had been purchased from a local gun store by someone other than Macias.
Police are currently investigating the ownership records to determined how Macias came to possess it.
“The serial number on that firearm is not reported stolen,” Frabbiele said.
The additional victims killed in the attack with Ibarra-Perez have been identified as Melvin Perez, 30; Mayra Ibarra de Perez, 33; Jose Gutierrez-Cruz, 21; Joana Cruz, 52; and Jose Ibarra, 26.
Gutierrez-Cruz was still alive when officers responded to the scene, but he succumbed to his injuries at the hospital, police said.
Counseling is being provided to the remaining family members, according to police.
Colorado Springs Police Chief Vince Niski expressed condolences to the family, as well as the first responders and investigators at the scene who were all left “incredibly shaken.”
“This is something you hope never happens in your own community, in the place that you call home. When these types of unspeakable acts happen, there is nothing that can be done to fully rebuild what was lost or replace those who are no longer with us,” the chief said. “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.”
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