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Four dead, including suspected gunman in Aurora, Colorado townhouse

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Four dead, including suspected gunman, in Colorado shooting

P. Solomon Banda, The Associated Press

Published Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013 12:34PM EST

Last Updated Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013 3:39PM EST

AURORA, Colo. -- Four people, including an armed suspect, died during an hours-long police standoff Saturday at a Colorado townhome, authorities said.

The shootings occurred about four miles (6.4 kilometres) southeast of the Aurora Mall, where 12 people were killed and dozens were wounded by a gunman at a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" on July 20. The man charged in that shooting, James Holmes, goes to court Monday for a preliminary hearing in which prosecutors will lay out their case against him.

An Aurora police department special weapons team responded after shots were heard at the townhome at about 3 a.m., Aurora police Sgt. Cassidee Carlson said. Investigators said two men and a woman appeared to have been killed before officers arrived.

The suspect shot at police who approached the front of the home with an armoured vehicle and tear gas at about 8:15 a.m., and he was killed when he fired at officers from a second-story window about 45 minutes later, Carlson said. It wasn't known if officers shot the suspect or if he shot himself.

A fifth person escaped unharmed and called police to report that she saw three people inside the home who "appeared lifeless," said Carlson, who declined to elaborate about the woman's escape.

A motive for the killings was unknown. Police wearing gloves and carrying evidence bags were going over the crime scene.

"We're just getting in there with our crime scene detectives, so obviously we'll have to determine if it was our rounds or his rounds," Carlson said.

Police declined to release the name of the suspect or victims.

"We have an idea of who they are, but we obviously want to confirm their identities with the coroner," said Carlson, who declined to release the relationship between the victims and the shooter.

Officers evacuated neighbours' homes during the standoff and used a bullhorn to communicate with the gunman, urging him to surrender.

"After we arrived on scene, there were no more shots fired up until he fired at us," Carlson said. "During this time he was all over the house. He moved furniture. He was throwing things. He was agitated. He was irrational."

A large front window was missing in the modest two-story townhome, the window's mini-blinds in disarray. Bullet holes marked two upstairs windows, and neighbours milled about outside.

Aurora, just east of Denver, is one of Colorado's largest and most diverse cities with more than 335,000 residents. It is home to Buckley Air Force Base as well as the sprawling University of Colorado Health Sciences Center campus.

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another one? Is there ever a day that goes by in the US without a mass shooting??

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I just wish the idiots would shoot each other instead of innocent families.

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4 people being dead in a shooting shouldn't be news anymore when it is happening in the good ol' US of A. Shootings should only appear in news when it hits double or triple digits.

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4 people being dead in a shooting shouldn't be news anymore when it is happening in the good ol' US of A. Shootings should only appear in news when it hits double or triple digits.

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So those four people who died a tragic death do not deserve validation that they lived, or that their lives were worth something to the rest of the world? Do they do not deserve to be recognized by the rest of the world for having been murdered for no reason?

Could not disagree with your comment more. :(:sadno:

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So those four people who died a tragic death do not deserve validation that they lived, or that their lives were worth something to the rest of the world? Do they do not deserve to be recognized by the rest of the world for having been murdered for no reason?

Could not disagree with your comment more. :(:sadno:

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Recognized by being used as talking points on news channels or blogs to be then quickly forgotten? No thanks.

People are murdered for no reason everyday, its like a sport in that we only care if the stats warrant our attention.

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I think the discussion is going in the wrong direction here.

Everywhere in the world the economy is bad.

USA is not the only country with guns.

Why is USA so much more violent compared to other countries?

As for Afghanistan/Iraq, it seems almost everywhere the US goes, they have started a mess that they never can fix.

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another one? Is there ever a day that goes by in the US without a mass shooting??

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Recognized by being used as talking points on news channels or blogs to be then quickly forgotten? No thanks.

People are murdered for no reason everyday, its like a sport in that we only care if the stats warrant our attention.

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Four black people probably got murdered somewhere in Africa today. It didn't make the news.

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