Aurora, Colo., hit by another mass shooting
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Aurora, Colo., hit by another mass shooting

Aurora : CO : USA | Jan 06, 2013 at 8:17 AM PST
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On the eve of the hearing to determine whether the Aurora theater shooter will be tried for mass murder, four people died in a new shooting in the city.

The Denver Post identified the shooter as Sonny Archuleta, 33. The type of gun used was not disclosed.

KMGH TV said Archuleta had an arrest record, including illegal possession of a gun last November.

Police were called to the scene of his second-story townhouse in the Denver suburb of 325,078 by his wife, Stephanie Philbrook Archuleta, who jumped out a window where Christmas ornaments still hung.

She told them there were three "lifeless" bodies in the townhouse.

SWAT officers smashed into the building with an armored car during a six-hour standoff, but initially did not return fire. Police did return fire when Archuleta appeared at a window and fired at them. Reuters reported police fire killed Archuleta.

was not immediately known.

The other dead were identified by the Post from interviews with neighbors but multiple sources confirmed they are his father-in-law, Anthony Tecala; his sister-in-law, Stacie Philbrook; and her boyfriend.

During the six-hour siege police used a bullhorn to talk to the shooter, whose wife described him as mentally ill. They offered him help.

Sonny Archuleta’s LinkedIn page describes him as a landscape and animation designer.

Archuleta's LinkedIn profile said he helped run a boutique for infants and toddlers for the past three years. The profile also says earlier he was director of Step Up Inc., a faith-based life skills workshop and recovery-support agency that focused on overcoming hopelessness.

Archuleta's brother, Patricio, 34, an ex-convict, was shot to death in the parking lot of MGM's Restaurant and Lounge in west Denver in Sept. 2011.

On Monday, James Holmes, who killed 12 people and wounded 58 in Aurora last summer, begins a hearing on whether he should be tried for murder and numerous murder and other charges. The former University of Colorado student was being seen by a psychiatrist for mental health problems before the July 20, 2012 shooting during the opening of "The Dark Knight Rises."

OPINION

In the past the fact that people with a criminal record like Archuleta have been able to get guns has been used by the NRA has proof that gun laws do not work.

Given the series of shootings in the past year, and many more in recent years, involving people with mental health problems the argument is likely to intensify.

Some will argue that in addition to laws, police need to search for and remove guns from psychopaths.

It also will be argued that doctors need to be able to commit such people to institutions. During the last few years practices have begun to favor the patients in an attempt to make sure their rights are not violated. That has meant some patients have been released or not committed, and went on to kill people.

On top of all of this the gun-crazy nation has to deal with common criminals. Also in Aurora, the same day, police shot and wounded an armed man who had robbed a gasoline station.

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An Aurora man killed three people inside a townhome before dying himself. It wasn't clear whether police returning fire killed him or he shot himself.
Robert Weller is based in Denver, Colorado, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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