By Kelly Werthmann

DENVER (CBS4) – Just before sunrise Monday morning, a south Denver neighborhood was violently awoken by gunfire.

“It was surreal. It didn’t seem like it was actually happening,” said Russ Skigen, a resident of the Gun Club Green community.

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First, Skigen said he heard the gunshots.

(credit: CBS)

“I heard 10. Other neighbors heard six. Others heard eight,” he told CBS4.

Then, Skigen saw smoke billowing from a neighbor’s car which crashed at a home on East Dartmouth Avenue.

“I realized that there was somebody in there and my neighbors needed help getting her out,” he said.

With a mix of panic and adrenaline, Skigen rushed to the fiery scene.

“Myself and a couple of our neighbors were able to pull her out of the car,” Skigen explained.

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Skigen said it was clear the woman he helped pull from the burning car had been shot in the face. He and his neighbors did what they could to help her until Denver firefighters and paramedics arrived.

“We tried, but she wasn’t able to be saved,” Skigen said.

(credit: CBS)

Denver Police got the call just after 6 a.m. about a car fire and gunshots. When they got to the neighborhood near Quebec and Dartmouth, a DPD spokesperson explained officers looked up the registration of the burning vehicle the woman was pulled from.

It belonged to a resident in a house just across the street, and when officers went inside, they found a man who’d also been shot. Police said the man was taken to a hospital where he later died.

“It was horrific seeing something like that happen,” Skigen said.

Police said the victims were in a relationship and the circumstances are part of the ongoing investigation. Neighbors tell CBS4 the family had moved in just a few months ago. Skigen said he never had a chance to meet them, and now he is just trying to cope.

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“Everybody is shocked, and the people who were involved with me are all working their way through because it was so traumatic,” he said.

Kelly Werthmann