The victims were celebrating family members' birthdays on Saturday

By Harriet Sokmensuer
May 12, 2021 02:32 PM
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Mothers Day shooting victims
Jose Ibarra, Mayra Ibarra de Perez, Joana Cruz, Melvin Perez, Jose Gutierrez and Sandra Ibarra-Perez
| Credit: Colorado Springs Police Department

Authorities in Colorado have revealed that the mass shooting at a birthday party on Saturday was a domestic violence-related event.

On Tuesday, Colorado Springs Police identified the victims as Joana Cruz, 52, Jose Gutierrez, 21, Jose Ibarra, 26, Sandra Ibarra-Perez, 28, Mayra Ibarra de Perez, 33, and 30-year-old Melvin Perez.

The victims were part of two families and were killed on Saturday by Sandra's boyfriend, 28-year-old Teodoro Macias. Authorities believe the shooting is a domestic violence-related incident.

The victims were killed early Sunday morning while celebrating the birthdays of multiple family members. During the party, Macias, who was not invited to the party, arrived at the home, walked inside and opened fire. There were 10 people inside — seven adults and three children, ages 2, 5 and 11 years old.

After shooting the six victims, Macias turned the gun on himself.

Authorities received three 911 calls shortly after midnight with one of the calls made from inside the home.

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One adult family member was able to escape the shooting and call 911 while all three children remained inside with some witnessing the shooting. They were all unharmed.

"All these people were together. He apparently had anger directed at the adults and his partner, and the tragic consequences are unfathomable. We've got children orphaned by this situation and we've got incredible number of families impacted and that in turn impacts the community," said Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers.

Macias was believed to have been upset with not being invited to the party. According to investigators, he and Sandra dated for one year and prior to Sunday's incident, he had tried to stop her from attending previous family engagements.

"At the core of this horrendous act is domestic violence," Colorado Springs Police Chief Vince Niski said. "The suspect, who 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."

The investigation remains ongoing. Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the Colorado Springs Police Department at (719) 444-7000. If they wish to remain anonymous, they can call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at (719) 634-7867.

If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.