Denver Police on Monday launched a “full-scale” investigation into what authorities called a “massacre” that left four people dead and three others injured, including a police officer.
Investigators are working to establish motive for the fatal incident, which ended after the suspect, who was not identified, was killed by officers in the Denver suburb of Lakewood, said to journalists a spokesperson for the local police.
Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen told a press conference that the shooting began around 5 p.m. in Denver. Four people were shot in two locations, including three fatally, before gunfire broke out between the suspect and Denver police.
No Denver officer was injured, but the suspect disabled his vehicle before fleeing to Lakewood, Pazen said.
There, police responded to reports of an active shooter just before 6 p.m., Lakewood Police spokesperson John Romero said. One person was pronounced dead at the scene, he said.
Romero said police were able to obtain a description of the vehicle and the suspect involved in the incident. They were able to “make contact” with the suspect, but Romero said the suspect was able to escape.
The suspect then “threatened another business with a gun” before arriving at a Hyatt hotel, opening fire and shooting an employee who was then taken to hospital, Romero said.
The person’s condition was not immediately known, according to the police spokesperson.
“The gunman then fled the area again,” Romero said, before “running into one of our agents” and firing a gun. The officer was injured and was undergoing surgery on Monday evening, he said.
The suspect was shot dead by other officers from the department, Romero said.
It was not clear exactly what motivated the shootings or how they were linked. But Pazen said his officers worked to “prevent this suspect from this killing.”
“It’s the holiday season. Having this type of party is not normal for our community,” he said. “We cannot lose sight of the victims in this case, the people who are still fighting for their lives, including an agent from Lakewood.”