The bishop of Colorado Springs has called Catholics to prayer after a shooter killed seven people, including himself, at a local mobile home community on Sunday .
“I join the people of Colorado Springs and the nation in mourning the tragic deaths of six family members and a gunman on Sunday,” Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs stated on Monday afternoon.
“We have seen far too many of these horrific acts in recent decades, and only the love of Christ will overcome the crushing despair that is a common symptom of the culture of death,” he said.
The shooting occurred shortly after midnight on Sunday morning. The Colorado Springs Police Department said in a statement that officers arrived on the scene at Canterbury mobile home park and discovered six adults shot dead, with another mortally wounded. The injured man was taken to the hospital and later died from his injuries.
The department said it believed the shooting occurred at a birthday party, and that “friends, family, and children were gathered inside” a home to celebrate.
The shooter, who is believed to have been a boyfriend of one of the women shot and killed, “walked inside and began shooting people at the party before taking his own life,” said the police. None of the children present were harmed, and they are currently with relatives.
The names of those killed have not yet been released, pending the notification of relatives. Police said they were seeking to determine a motive in the shooting.
“I invite all the faithful to pray for both those who died and for the survivors, and I especially invoke the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary so that, through her motherly care, the children impacted by this senseless act of violence will find consolation and healing,” Bishop Sheridan said.
Department Chief Vince Niski expressed his sorrow at the shooting.
“Words fall short to describe the tragedy that took place this morning. As the chief of police, as a husband, as a father, as a grandfather, as a member of this community, my heart breaks for the families who have lost someone they love and for the children who have lost their parents,” said a statement from Niski.
Niski said that the officers of his department were “left incredibly shaken” by the crime scene.
“This is something you hope never happens in your own community, in the place that you call home,” he said. “When these types of unspeakable acts happen, there is nothing that can be done to fully rebuild what was lost or replace those who are no longer with us.”
Niski vowed that “this department will do everything we can to find you the answers you deserve and be here with you with an unwavering support.”