At least 4 dead in apparent Colo. murder-suicide
A woman is believed to have been shot to death while she was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher
By Dan Elliot and Steven K. Paulson
DENVER — Dispatchers listened as a Colorado woman who called 911 to report a shooting was apparently killed as she begged for her life in the pre-dawn hours Tuesday.
She was among four people found dead at a home near Longmont, about 35 miles north of Denver, in what police are characterizing as a murder-suicide.
Emergency phone line operators heard the woman scream "no, no, no," cries that were followed by what sounded like a gunshot, Weld County sheriff's spokesman Tim Schwartz said. A man then picked up the phone and said he was going to kill himself before dispatchers heard what they believe was another shot fired, Schwartz said.
Authorities have not identified the victims or the man they suspect as the shooter. The dead included two men and two women. Police said they are convinced the gunman was among those killed.
There were no apparent survivors, Schwartz said.
It was unclear whether all four lived in the home, Schwartz said.
Investigators think they have uncovered a motive for the shootings, Schwartz said. He refused to release such details, however.
A handgun believed to be murder weapon was recovered.
As investigators searched the home, a woman slipped under the crime tape and ran toward the house. The unidentified woman was restrained by police, fell to the ground on her knees and began crying before being led away.
A pickup truck with Texas license plates, meanwhile, sat idling in the driveway while police waited for permission to enter the vehicle. A neighbor said it had been running since morning.
Several neighbors described what happened around 4 a.m. Tuesday.
Joyce Vibbert said she heard three gunshots and a woman's voice.
"It was just screaming. I couldn't hear what she was saying. It was just screaming," she said.
Vibbert said she couldn't see what was happening from her bedroom window.
Kathy Tubb said she heard the shots at about the same time and had no idea what was happening.
She said when her husband went outside to warm up the car to go to work, she saw a policeman wearing a helmet and armed with a rifle standing in the street. Tubb said her husband was worried there might be a gunman still on the loose and feared for his life.
Desirae Swazoe said she awoke shortly after 4 a.m. and heard repeated shouting, "Weld County Sheriff's Department! Open the back door! Do it now!"