Four people were killed, including the gunman, during a hostage standoff this morning at a townhouse in Aurora, Colo., police said.
The incident, which lasted six hours, began with a report of shots being fired at aroun 3 a.m. When offers arrived on the scene a woman who had fled the house told them there was a man inside who had fired several shots, police said.
She said she had noticed three apparently lifeless bodies as she got out of the home.
Police and SWAT team members surrounded the house and hostage negotiators were able to get the suspect on the phone, but according to police the man “was behaving very irrationally throughout the incident and often hanging up on the negotiators.”
He refused to come out of the house, police said. Just before 8 a.m. — five hours after the incident began — members of the SWAT team went to the front of the house in an armored vehicle to break out a window.
The suspect fired repeatedly at the vehicle, hitting it several times, but no officers were injured and police did not fire back, police said.
For an hour, police repeatedly fired tear gas into the house and told the man to come out, but he continued to refuse.
At around 9 a.m., the suspect began firing at police from a second story window, and officers returned fire, hitting him, and then entered the house. Inside they found two men and one woman dead.
“He came to a second story window with a gun and fired upon us a second time,” Aurora Police Department spokeswoman Sgt. Cassidee Carlson said. “This time shots were returned, the suspect was hit.”