[Colorado Springs has been cursed by many recent incidents, such as this. Most of these acts of violence have been related to soldiers or veterans stationed at Ft. Carson (SEE: What Is Different About Ft. Carson, Colorado Soldiers? ). The dead assailant was reportedly wearing a “green jacket” and firing an AR15 rifle.]
4 Dead, Including Suspect, In Downtown Colorado Springs Shooting Spree
“I was just sitting on my patio taking my dog out when I saw someone come around the corner, being chased by the police.”
Aaron Nicks and dozens of other people in downtown Colorado Springs Saturday morning watched in horror as police exchanged gunfire with a man in front of the Wendy’s restaurant on 222 N. Wahsatch Ave.
The shootout ended with the suspect shot and killed.
According to multiple witnesses, the suspect was on a shooting rampage in the minutes leading up to the Wendy’s gun battle. Officers are still sorting out what happened, but do confirm there were two separate shootings prior to the officer-involved shooting that happened less than a half-mile apart.
Police were originally called to 230 North Prospect Street at 8:45 a.m. on reports of gunshots. They found a deceased man sprawled on the side of the street next to an overturned bike, his backpack still on his back.
Officers also found a small fire in one of the homes on the 200 block of North Prospect, believed to be started by the gunman.
Immediately after the shooting on Prospect, the suspect took off running down East Platte, where officers say he shot more people on the 500 block. Though unconfirmed by police, witnesses say that the suspect was shooting at anyone in his way.
One of those witnesses told our partners at The Gazette he heard two gunshots from his kitchen.
“I looked out my kitchen window and I saw a man in a green jacket firing an AR-15…waited a few seconds, went out of my house, looked to my left and saw a man down the street, probably 50 feet. I started following him and I called the cops,” Matt Abshire told The Gazette.
While waiting for CSPD to answer, Abshire kept tailing the suspect.
“Still following him, he’s heading left on Platte towards Palmer High School…probably a hundred yards past El Paso Street he stops, turns to his left, fires four shots, shoots two ladies, one in the jaw, one in the chest if I’m not mistaken.
Abshire told The Gazette he rushed to help, but that one of the victims was already dead. Police confirmed Saturday afternoon that both were killed.
Abshire said the officers encountered the gunman a moment later.
“They encountered him at the corner of Platte and Wahsatch, where the suspect opened fire on the officers and the officers returned fire,” El Paso County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Jacqueline Kirby told 11 News. Because of a new law requiring outside agencies to investigate law enforcement-involved shootings, EPSO is investigating the Wendy’s shooting.
“Me and my son were at the 7-Eleven using the ATM…as soon as I walked outside I heard six gunshots up the street. … We see the cop cars swarm in. I saw the guy with the gun just walking with the gun in his hand. … Just calm, standing there with a gun in his hand,” witness Alisha Jaynes told 11 News.
“They yelled, ‘Put the gun down,’ and he turned around, and that’s when they shot at him a good 20 times. … There was a lot of gunfire. He was running across the street right here [points at Wahsatch] and they pretty much shot him down,” Nicks said.
“What I saw was he kind of, like, spun around and [police] yelled, ‘Drop it,’ and he kind of [gestures as though he’s holding a gun] went to aim and that’s when they shot him down.”
Nicks said the suspect was darting between fast-food restaurants on Wahsatch as he tried to escape officers.
“He was running across from Taco Bell through here to the Wendy’s, and that’s where they shot him.”
“[I was] watching a police officer fall on his stomach to the ground, maybe to get cover,” Jaynes recalled.
“All of a sudden this guy just was shooting and running down this way and firing at police,” another shaken up witness can be heard saying on a video from the scene, sent to 11 News by viewer Aaron Michael. The video was taken after the suspect was shot by officers.
“Some guy was shooting at police, so they shot him.” Michael can be heard saying while recording.
“Oh my gosh, he shot at cops?” a woman says off-camera after asking Michael what was happening.
These witness accounts have not been confirmed by police, but Lt. Catherine Buckley with CSPD says there were numerous people who saw the whole thing unfold Saturday morning. Victim advocates have been provided to assist witnesses who are suffering from any kind of emotional trauma. Springs police and El Paso County deputies are working to interview each witness for the investigation.
No officers were injured in the shooting.
A large area of downtown Colorado Springs is expected to be closed until Saturday evening. These road closures are:
Platte blocked from Corona to Weber
Wahsatch blocked from Kiowa to Boulder
Portions of Prospect
Jaynes, who was in the area to watch a wrestling tournament at Palmer High School, said the school was placed on lockdown after the shootout. The school is within a short walk of all three crime scenes.
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone who was (1) in the area of Platte and Wahsatch Saturday between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. and (2) has damage to their home or vehicle that may be connected to yesterday’s shooting,
to call them at 719-390-5555.
This is a developing story, and we will provide updates as more information becomes available.