As the smoke clears today, Jan. 5, 2013, on the shooting in Aurora, Colo., some of the details are emerging. Initially, it was unclear how many hostages were shot, whether three or four. Mercury News reports that there were four dead, the gunman and three hostages. One hostage escaped, and that was the reason for the discrepancy.
Cassidee Carlson, an Aurora police spokeswoman, said the gunman on Saturday is believed to have fatally shot two men and a woman. The woman who escaped told police officers that she saw three "lifeless" bodies in the home. The woman was not injured.
The gunman was shot after he opened fire on a police vehicle, but it is not apparent yet whether the shots that killed him were self-inflicted or from police fire. NBC reports that he was killed by the police, but Mercury News explains the events:
Aurora SWAT team members fired at the gunman after he went to a second floor window and began firing at them. Officers found the gunman dead inside, but it was not clear whether he was fatally wounded by police or killed himself, a police spokeswoman said.
Police had surrounded the townhome after a woman who escaped from the home called 911 about 3 a.m. The man barricaded himself inside the home, and police evacuated nearby homes and sent emergency phone notifications.
The relationship of the hostages involved and the possible motivation of the shooter are not yet established.
Colorado has experienced a disproportionate number of mass shootings, including the theater shooting last summer in Aurora where 12 were killed and 50 were wounded. Police are conducting extensive investigations at the present time, and more information will continue to become available.
Be sure and follow @barbiecrafts on Twitter.