• Four dead after police standoff in Aurora, Colo.
     | January 06,2013

    Four people, including a gunman who was suspected of taking hostages inside a house, died Saturday after a standoff with police in Aurora, Colo., the site of a deadly shooting rampage in a movie theater last year.

    The episode began about 3 a.m. when shots were heard on East Ithaca Place, about 16 miles southeast of downtown Denver, said Sgt. Cassidee Carlson, a spokeswoman for the Aurora Police Department.

    A woman who had escaped from the house told officers that shots had been fired and “that she observed three people inside the home who appeared lifeless as she was leaving,” according to a statement released by the police on Saturday afternoon.

    About 50 officers, including members of a SWAT unit and hostage negotiators were called, Carlson said. When attempts to talk to the man by telephone and over a bullhorn were unsuccessful, the police statement said, officers moved in using an armored vehicle around 8 a.m., which was fired upon.

    The police were unable to force the gunman out of the house using gas, Carlson said, and about an hour later, officers shot him to death after he appeared in a second-floor window, she said.

    Inside, the police said they also found the bodies of a woman and two other men. Carlson did not identify the victims or the gunman, and said investigators did not know what set off the episode.

    In July, 12 people were killed and 58 wounded in a shooting at an Aurora movie theater during a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises.” The gunman, wearing what the police described as ballistic gear, used an AR-15 assault rifle, a shotgun and a handgun in the shooting, the police said.

    James Eagan Holmes, 24, was arrested outside the theater and has been charged in the killings. Prosecutors are scheduled to present their case against Holmes at a preliminary hearing on Monday that is expected to be attended by many of the survivors and relatives of those who died.

    The theater where the shootings took place, the Century 16, is scheduled to reopen Jan. 17. The theater’s operator, Cinemark, has been criticized for sending invitations for the reopening to relatives of those who were killed.

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