Aurora, the Denver suburb that was scene of a chilling massacre in a movie theatre barely six months ago, was once again shaken-up by a hostage crisis early Saturday, which ended tragically in the death of four people, including one armed suspect.
A lone gunman barricaded himself inside a house with several hostages, keeping the police at bay for nearly five hours. The standoff ended with the death of all four, the three hostages (two men and one woman) and the gunman. According to the police, they all seemed to know each other, but it was not clear if they were related, reported the New York Post.
Reportedly neighbors heard gunshots coming from the Aurora, Colo., house, and called the police at around 3 a.m. (local time Saturday). A police SWAT team reached the place and several nearby homes were evacuated for safety reasons. Police also sent out emergency notifications for the other residents in the area.
The officers later entered the house where a gunfight ensued, after which they found the suspect dead along with three other persons. Apparently they had been killed earlier, stated the authorities. It is not clear yet whether the police officers shot the gunman dead or whether he shot himself. The motive for the killings is still unclear.
According to local media reports, the police tried to negotiate with the suspect. He even answered their phone several times but his responses were unintelligible and he appeared to be very agitated. After hours of failed negotiations police broke into the house and started firing and the suspected killer fell.
The police discovered the bodies of three adult victims on the first floor and found the suspect's body on the second floor, The Denver Post reported. According to the local KUSA News, one woman inside the home was able to escape from the house and alert authorities.
The lady told officers that the suspect was still inside and that he was armed. She said he had fired shots inside the home. Further, she told the police that before escaping by jumping out of a second-story window, she saw three "lifeless" bodies. Meanwhile, the identities of the victims and the gunman were not released immediately.
Last year in July, the Aurora was in the national spotlight having witnessed a gruesome shooting incident at a movie theater screening the Batman film ‘The Dark Knight Rises.’ That incident left 12 people dead and 58 injured. The suspect in the shooting case, James Eagan Holmes, is currently being tried on murder charges.
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