Two shot dead on university campus

By John Mercury February 18, 2024

Two people have died after being shot in a university dormitory room, police in the US have said.

The unnamed victims were found dead by officers, who responded to reports of a shooting at the Alpine Village campus, part of the University of Colorado, in Colorado Springs, at around 6am on Friday.

The Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) said in a statement on Friday evening: “At this point in our investigation, this incident does not appear to be a murder-suicide and both deaths are being investigated as homicides.”

Students look outside their dorm window in the Village at Alpine Valley housing, Friday, Feb. 16, 2024, as police investigate a shooting on the University of Colorado Colorado Springs campus in Colorado Springs, Colo. (Christian Murdock/The Gazette via AP)
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Students look outside their dorm window as police investigate the murders. Pic: AP

Police spokesperson Ira Cronin told reporters the pair were shot at least once in what appeared to be an “isolated incident”.

Officials did not say if they were students, NBC News, Sky News’ US partner, said.

Police put the campus, with around 11,000 students and 2,000 staff, into lockdown for about 90 minutes, before narrowing the order down to a student housing complex on campus, university spokesperson Chris Valentine said.

CSPD said on Facebook that officers from the college were alerted just before 6am, and entered the dorm room at 6.05am, where “they discovered two deceased individuals, each with at least one gunshot wound”.

CSPD said they were notified roughly five minutes later and responded to the scene, where the force’s homicide unit took over.

At 6.21am, students were instructed to “lock interior doors, turn out the lights, move away from sight, do not open the door, maintain silence, evade/defend”, the Denver Post said.

Students look outside their dorm window in the Village at Alpine Valley housing, Friday, Feb. 16, 2024, as police investigate a shooting on the University of Colorado Colorado Springs campus in Colorado Springs, Colo. (Christian Murdock/The Gazette via AP)
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A police vehicle at the scene. Pic: AP

At 7.10am, officials said there was no active shooter and asked people to continue to shelter in place.

That order was narrowed to the village, a complex with six separate dormitory buildings, at 7.59am and eventually lifted at 9.37am, the newspaper said on its website.

The campus, located about 69 miles (111 km) south of Denver, stayed closed for the day and will remain shut for the weekend.

Counsellors and mental and emotional health support staff will be available to all, officials said.

Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez expressed “heartfelt sympathy for the family of these two individuals”, adding “a tragedy like this is unimaginable”.

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University chancellor Jennifer Sobanet called it “an isolated shooting incident”.

“My heart is broken for the victims of today’s senseless violence, and I join in the grieving with their family and friends, and the entire community,” she said.

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