First, Gunfire at a Colo. Church. Then, at a Va. Hookah Lounge

2 are dead, 6 injured after unrelated shootings Friday night
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2022 8:15 AM CST
Shootings 1.5K Miles Apart Leave 2 Dead, 6 Hurt
Police stand by early Saturday as officers conduct an investigation after a shooting at a business on Main Street in Blacksburg, Va.   (Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times via AP)

Two separate shootings 1,500 miles apart, in towns that have already experienced grim mass shootings, have left two dead and at least six injured. The first incident happened earlier in the evening Friday, shortly after 8pm, at the Iglesia Faro De Luz Church in Aurora, Colo., reports Denver7. When police responded to a call of gunfire, they found a 36-year-old woman and two men, ages 40 and 42, had been shot, per a release. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene of the church event, which is said to have had about 15 to 20 people in attendance, while the men were taken to a local hospital and are expected to survive. A fourth person was also hospitalized, "for other medical reasons," per the police.

At a presser after the shooting, Aurora Police Department spokesman Matthew Longshore said that the suspect, who fled the scene and is still being sought, apparently knew one of the victims, per CNN. "[The] exact relationship is not going to be released at this point," Longshore said, adding, "It wasn't just a random shooting inside this church." He noted that investigators are seeking surveillance video from the area and interviewing witnesses. Aurora was the site of a 2012 mass shooting in a movie theater that left 12 dead and 70 injured.

Meanwhile, in a college town across the country, where one of the worst US shootings took place almost 15 years ago, one person is dead and four injured after a shooting at the Melody Hookah Lounge in downtown Blacksburg, report the AP and USA Today. The Blacksburg Police Department says it responded to a call on the shooting just before midnight, though other details, including on suspects or possible motives, are scant. The conditions are of the four injured people also aren't clear.

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The lounge is just blocks away from Virginia Tech, where a student massacred 32 people in April 2007 in the worst school shooting in US history. After Friday's shooting, the university issued a series of alerts starting just before midnight, warning students to stay indoors and lock all entrances. By 3:15am, the school had lifted its secure-in-place warning, though it advised everyone to avoid the downtown area. (More shootings stories.)

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