The Colorado Springs Police Department held a press conference May 11 to provide additional details on the May 9 mass shooting in the Southeast. Six people were killed by 28-year-old Teodoro Macias during a birthday party at a residence on Preakness Way. Macias took his own life in the fourth-deadliest mass-shooting in Colorado history.
“It’s been a long and exhausting last couple of days, not just for our department, but for those who now have to adjust to a new way of life without their loved ones,” said CSPD Chief Vince Niski. “Our hearts continue to ache for this devastating loss. Over the last few days our detectives, crime scene investigators and victim advocates have been hard at work, both finding answers and providing any support these families may need. At the core of this horrendous act is domestic violence. The suspect was in a relationship with one of the victims, displayed power and control issues in this relationship. When he wasn’t invited to a family gathering, the suspect responded by opening fire and killing six victims before taking his own life. No family should ever have to experience this type of loss.”
CSPD officially identified the victims of Sunday’s shooting as 28-year-old Sandra Ibarra-Perez, 26-year-old Jose Ibarra, 33-year-old Mayra Ibarra De Perez, 30-year-old Melvin Perez, 21-year-old Jose Gutierrez and 52-year-old Joana Cruz. Niski emphasized that the families are asking for privacy at this time.
According to Lt. Joe Frabbiele of CSPD’s Homicide Assault Unit, there were 10 family members in the residence at the time of the shooting — seven adults and three children. “The suspect entered the residence, and shot all six victims in quick succession, in a methodical, direct and deliberate manner,” said Frabbiele. “The suspect then shot himself shortly thereafter. One adult family member was able to escape the residence unharmed, as the shooting occurred. The three children remained inside the residence during the occurrence, and were unharmed. The evidence supports the children were in close proximity to the shooting event, and to some degree witnessed what occurred.”
Frabbiele said the shooting resulted from Macias not being invited to the birthday party that night, according to evidence obtained from the victims’ phones. “The suspect had been dating [Sandra Ibarra] for approximately one year,” he said. “The suspect was not invited to the family gathering and evidence supports that not receiving an invitation upset him. The suspect had a history of controlling and jealous behavior toward the victim. This behavior in particular was most obvious with trying to isolate her from her family, and making efforts to prevent her from attending family events.”
According to CSPD, there was no prior history of domestic violence between Macias and Ibarra, and investigators have not learned of any unreported physical altercations between the two during the course of their one-year relationship.
Frabbiele noted that the gun used in the shooting was purchased from a local gun store in 2014, but not by Macias. “The suspect did not purchase the firearm during this transaction,” he said. “Follow up is being conducted to locate and interview the individual who purchased the firearm originally. This is the only listed transaction for this firearm. The ownership records for the life of the firearm, and how and when the suspect came to possess this firearm, are unknown at this time. Investigative efforts will continue in an attempt to answer these questions.”
According to CSPD, eight of the 15 homicides in 2021 have been domestic violence-related. In 2020, nine of the 39 homicides were domestic violence-related.
“It’s a terrible tragedy, there’s no question about,” said Mayor John Suthers. “I think what we take from it is a stark reminder of how lethal domestic violence incidents can be. About 20 to 25 percent of the victims of homicides related to domestic violence are not the people involved in the relationship, but are either police officers that respond or family members or bystanders. The tragic consequences are unfathomable. We’ve got children orphaned by this situation and we’ve got an incredible number of families adversely impacted, and that in turn impacts the community.”