DENVER (CBS4) – Denver police are searching for a motive after a gunman killed one woman and seriously injured another before being shot by officers.
Denver police’s bomb squad searched homes in Southwest Denver for devices after the violent shooting situation that involved officers and gunpowder-laced propane tanks.
The incident started at 10:40 a.m. in the Harvey Park neighborhood in the 2200 block of South Irving. Police say an alleged gunman, identified as Daniel Abeyta, 31, shot and killed a woman and that when officers arrived the gunman suddenly shot at a propane tank that had gunpowder on top.
“Officers responded to the scene and approached what they thought was a possible suspect. As they were approaching the suspect fired one shot at what looked like a makeshift incendiary device which was activated,” Denver Police Chief Robert White said. “Shortly after that one of the officers fired a shot at the suspect, hitting him in the in chest area.”
Other reports said the suspect was shot in the shoulder.
No one was hurt when the propane tank exploded.
Abeyta was critically injured and underwent surgery at the hospital. Abeyta’s brother later appeared at the scene.
“My brother got shot, that’s all I know,” Abeyta’s brother told CBS4. “I don’t know, I don’t know.”
Police then found the woman dead in a nearby home. They also found propane tanks in the street and were working to determine if they posed any threat. They evacuated the area.
“There are several potential incendiary devices in the area. We evacuated the area to make sure no one was in harm’s way and the bomb squad is actively trying to mitigate those devices,” White said.
Officers also said Abeyta allegedly shot another woman in a different home and that she was injured in the leg.
The names of the victims haven’t been released.
It’s not clear what the relationship may be between Abeyta and the two women and so far police haven’t said what a motive might have been in the crimes.
Lincoln High School was on lockdown for a short time while the incident was going on.
Neighbors said Abeyta is a military veteran and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and is involved in a difficult marriage. He has an arrest record that includes felony menacing with a deadly weapon and violating a restraining order