DENVER (CBS4) – The woman who was shot several times by a gunman in Denver’s LoDo neighborhood on Tuesday has died. Police said she had recently filed for divorce from the gunman.
The woman has been identified as Cara Russell. She died early Wednesday morning.
Police said a man walked into The Alliance Center at 1536 Wynkoop just after 2:30 p.m. Tuesday and shot Russell, 52, several times before turning the gun on himself.
The 58-year-old gunman was dead when police arrived. He has been identified as Mickey Russell.
Cara Russell worked in the building and was the executive director of the Colorado Recycling Association.
Russell is described as a warm person, who was easy to talk to. Friends say she recently moved to Denver from Leadville to take the new job. During her time in Buena Vista she also served as town Mayor.
It’s during that time that the current Mayor Pro tem, Phillip Puckett, got to know Cara.
“It’s very shocking,” Puckett says of the shooting and death. “I’m still trying to process it.”
She had filed for divorce in April and the gunman, her husband, had been served with divorce papers in the past few days.
Brandi Reitter, town administrator for Leadville, also knows Cara.
She says her death is devastating, “It’s devastating when bad thing happens to good people.”
Police said the gunman had a limited criminal history but that he had been banned from the airport in Buena Vista based on some comments he had made.
“He came there with the intent of … you know, getting the victim. We’re getting information that there had been some ramblings and some talks of him doing this. He was becoming more and more mentally unstable,” said Denver Police Cmdr. Ron Saunier at a news conference on Wednesday morning.
Cara Russell was the former mayor of Buena Vista. She resigned in 2010.
Mickey had been recently been placed on a mental health hold. A Facebook post on his page on June 20 states, “My wife is causing me so much pain” and “It hurts so much.”
Mickey had a handgun but it is unclear whether he was the registered owner of the gun.
“At some point in time the two of them became, based on witnesses, a confrontation. There may have been a short chase in the building and shots were fired,” said Saunier.
The active shooting caused a massive police response in the area of 15th and Wynkoop Tuesday afternoon. Police officers were spotted on the rooftops of buildings in the area while investigators determined the extent of the threat.
Several blocks in the area were closed for several hours during the investigation.