Aurora, CO (BTSNews) -- AN UNIDENTIFIED GUNMAN killed three people in an Aurora, Colorado townhouse this afternoon, according to Reuters. Police shot and killed the assailant, who had also tried to shoot police officers on the scene. This shooting occurred in the same Denver suburb where 12 people were killed in a mall shooting July 2012.
The gunman and the victims -- two men and one woman -- are all believed to be related to one another, police said. One woman was able to flee the home uninjured. The motive for the shooting, however, is not clear.
A hostage negotiation team had been called in an attempt to defuse the situation, but after five hours of talking, Aurora police prepared to use tear gas on the home to force the gunman out. At that point, the gunman opened fire on the police. No officers were injured.
The names of the victims and the shooter have been withheld until the coroner's office confirms their identities and notifies their next of kin.
BEHIND THE SCENES, this latest shooting underscores the problematic issue of gun control. Since the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, an estimated 429 Americans have been shot and killed, including 27 children. The Bradycampaign.org -- the website for a leading gun control activist group -- lists a 64 page list of victims of mass shootings since 2005 up to and including the Newtown shootings. And Slate reports that since 1980, 297 people have been shot and killed in "gun-free" schools. It is still uncertain why this latest shooting in Aurora, Colorado occurred, whether the gun or guns were legally owned, or whether gun control legislation would have helped prevent the incident.
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