The man who fatally shot six people at a family birthday party in Colorado Springs over the weekend was angry he hadn't been invited, police said. "At the core of this horrific act is domestic violence," the police chief said Tuesday, noting the gunman, who also took his own life, had "displayed power and control issues" in his relationship with Sandra Ibarra-Perez, 28, whom he'd been dating for about a year. He shot her, her 26-year-old brother, Jose Ibarra, and her 33-year-old sister, Mayra Ibarra de Perez, along with de Perez's husband, Melvin Perez, 30, his brother, Jose Gutierrez, 21, and the men’s mother, Joana Cruz, 52, the owner of the mobile home where the shooting took place. Cruz's husband, the stepfather to Melvin Perez and Gutierrez, was also present at the party, USA Today reports. One adult apparently managed to escape.
Three children, ages 2, 5, and 11, were also present, but were not hurt, and three teenagers had left just before the shooting to get something from a neighbor, and returned to find the horrific scene, the AP reports. "We’ve got children orphaned by this situation," says Colorado Springs' mayor. "One of the smaller children and some of the teenagers lost both parents," says a police lieutenant. The young kids witnessed some portion of the shootings but later hid in a bedroom, police say, and a neighbor recounted watching police lead them, "crying hysterically," from the home. Police say, per the Denver Post, that though there were no official reports of domestic violence between Ibarra-Perez and the suspect, 28-year-old Teodoro Macias, family members reported to police that he had a history of jealousy and attempting to isolate Ibarra-Perez. At another family gathering a week prior, police say he'd had "some sort of conflict" with the family. (Read more Colorado Springs stories.)