At least 4 dead, 3 injured in Denver-area shooting spree, authorities say; suspect also killed

DENVER — A shooting spree has left five people dead and three others injured, including a police officer, following a running gun battle across Denver and a neighboring suburb, authorities said late Monday.

Authorities say the suspect, who they have not yet publicly identified, is among the dead. Police believe the suspect fired a firearm in at least seven different locations across Denver and Lakewood, Colorado, Monday evening.

Denver Police Department Chief Paul Pazen said the shooting spree began a little after 5 p.m. on Monday in Denver. The suspect shot two adult women and one adult male. Both women died, and the male was injured, Pazen said.

According to police, shortly after, the suspect shot another male in a different part of Denver, killing him. Police believe there was a third shooting in Denver, but no injuries have been reported there, Pazen said.

“To see this type of spree take place is not normal in our community,” Pazen said. “This one individual was responsible for this very violent crime spree that took place this evening."

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Following the three shootings in Denver, police officers identified a car associated with the suspect which led to an exchange of gunfire between police and the suspect. Pazen said the suspect was able to disable the police vehicle, then fled to the adjoining suburb of Lakewood, Colorado.

John Romero, Lakewood Police's Public Information Officer, said the Lakewood police department's agents identified the suspect's car shortly after he fled Denver. The suspect opened fire on the agents, then fled on foot, Romero said.

The suspect then threatened another business with a firearm, Lakewood police said, before entering a Hyatt hotel and shooting the clerk there. 

Again, the suspect fled, firing their gun at and hitting a Lakewood police agent in the process. The agent is currently at the hospital, undergoing surgery, Romero said.

According to authorities, the suspect was shot dead in Lakewood, but police don’t know if an officer killed the suspect.

Dozens of people were stuck inside neighboring businesses after the shootings, and around 10 p.m. local time, a SWAT team entered the nearby Nordstrom Rack store, with guns drawn. Authorities said SWAT teams checked the buildings out of caution.

Lili Gilbert, 18, said she was working at the Nordstrom Rack when the shooting occurred, but didn’t hear anything immediately. But police told workers to lock the doors, and customers and staff huddled in the backstock area for hours, sharing bottled water.

Leaving the parking lot at about 10:30 p.m., Gilbert said she and some customers had seen a man’s body lying on the ground outside the store near the hotel.

“I was freaked out because the body was right there,” she said.

Authorities do not yet know the suspect's motive.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Colorado shooting spree leaves 5 dead and 3 injured, authorities say

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