Colorado Springs shooting rampage leaves 4 dead

Witnesses on Sunday described a terrifying scene on the streets of Colorado Springs, where a gunman armed with a rifle marched down a city street and shot and killed three people before being fatally shot in a gunbattle with police.

Gunman kills 3 people in broad daylight before being shot dead by police, witnesses say

The rear window of a police car is shattered after a shooting Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015, in Colorado Springs, Colo. Four people were shot and killed, including the suspected gunman. (Christian Murdock/The Gazette/Associated Press)

Witnesses on Sunday described a terrifying scene on the streets of Colorado Springs, Colo., where a gunman armed with a rifle marched down a city street and shot and killed three people before being fatally shot in a gunfight with police.

Authorities have released few details about Saturday morning's shooting in broad daylight. The suspect and victims have not been identified, and police are looking for a motive.

​A neighbour, Teresa Willingham, said she and her seven-year-old son heard three loud gunshots and saw a bicyclist lying face down in the street, his legs mangled and still intertwined in his bike.

"His last words were `Please God, no,"' she said. "He was just at the wrong place at the wrong time."

Victim begged for his life: Witness

A neighbour, Naomi Bettis, who lives across the street, said she saw a man in a green jacket with a rifle, walking down the street. She saw him go into a house across the street, and come out with a handgun. She said the man headed down block, and a bicyclist came up.

Bettis said the bicyclist begged for his life, but the gunman kept shooting.

Bettis said the bicyclist collapsed outside a house. She later placed a bouquet of flowers, a candle and a note where the bicyclist was slain, saying "My thoughts are with you. Praying for the family. I'm sorry for your loss."

Matthew Abshire, who lives nearby, told The Associated Press that he heard gunshots, looked out his window and saw a man firing a rifle.

He waited for the gunfire to subside before he came outside and started chasing after the gunman, who had a rifle in his right hand and a revolver in his left. Abshire stayed about 30 metres behind him until he said the gunman turned and aimed the gun in his direction, prompting him to dive onto a porch to hide.

Gunman appeared calm

"He walked calmly and collectedly. His demeanour was like he was having a stroll in the park," Abshire said.

Abshire continued walking behind the man, who he said abruptly fired at two women on the porch of another house which is a home for women in recovery. A woman sitting on a bench was shot as well as another one who was standing next to her, Abshire said.

"It looked totally random," he said.

He rushed to help them, using his shirt as a tourniquet. He said one of the women had no pulse.

When help arrived, Abshire took off after the gunman again but was stopped by police, but he could still see the gunman fire at a patrol car, breaking its window before officers shot him outside a Wendy's.

Abshire said the man kept walking, carrying the rifle.

Police say they spotted the gunman several blocks away, where a shootout erupted. Photos show a window in the back of a police car that had been shattered by gunfire. Police on Sunday asked residents to help them look for damage to homes and property that might provide more evidence.

Alisha Jaynes told KKTV-TV 11 News she was at an ATM when she saw a man with a gun walking calmly down the street.

"They yelled, 'Put the gun down,' and he turned around, and that's when they shot at him a good 20 times," she said. "There was a lot of gunfire."

Vigil held

More than 50 people gathered for a candlelight vigil near the scene of the shooting Sunday night. Benjamin Broadbent, lead minister of the First Congregational Church of Colorado Springs urged the group to have compassion, even for the family of the gunman.

Two of the victims were residents of the sober living home and were killed while sitting together on the porch.

Those who knew them said they were working hard to improve their lives. The shooting has left the other women living in the home shaken, said Adrieanna Waldridge, the roommate of one of the victims.

"We were going to be each other's sober buddies," she said. "It feels like a part of me is missing."


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversationCreate account

Already have an account?