Four people, including a gunman who was suspected of taking hostages inside a house in Aurora, Colo., died Saturday after a standoff with the police, the authorities said.
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 police news release issued 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, police 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.
James Eagan Holmes, 24, was arrested outside the theater and has been charged in the killings.
Bob Broom, a member of the Aurora City Council, said memories of the movie theater shootings were still fresh but that life in the city had begun to resume its normal rhythms.
“When the theater shooting first happened, there was incredible grief,” said Broom, who said he lives in the subdivision where the shooting on Saturday took place. “But time heals. And it has healed in this situation.”