Apr 302007
 
Authors: Emily Polak

An unidentified gunman opened fire at about 4 p.m. Monday in a storage facility near the 2600 block of East Mulberry in unincorporated Larimer County, killing one man and then himself, according to officials.

The gun and the gunman’s body were found more than five hours after law enforcement blocked off the business complex.

“There has been some ongoing conflict between the men who own the neighboring units (in the storage facility),” Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden told CBS-4.

Before finding the suspect’s body, officers patrolled a nearby neighborhood looking for the assailant. A manhunt was launched, but was stopped after deputies found the second body.

Investigators have not identified a motive for the shootings.

Eloise Campanella, a spokeswoman with the Larimer County Sheriff’s Department, said the male victim died of multiple gunshot wounds. The victim’s name has not yet been released. An autopsy report is expected to be complete today.

“We’re in the very early stages of a homicide investigation,” Alderden said. “There are a number of conflicting reports about this incident.”

Officers at the crime scene heard several variations of the same story, he said, including one report that the suspect used a nail gun in the shooting. The nail gun theory has been ruled out, as officers have confirmed that the assailant used a handgun, possibly a Tech-9.

“I can safely say it’s not a nail gun,” Alderden said.

More than two-dozen Sheriff’s Department vehicles, SWAT vehicles and other emergency vehicles, including a van labeled “Hostage Crisis Negotiation Team,” blocked the storage facility and the abutting strip mall.

Officers were also patrolling a nearby neighborhood.

The coroner and deputies were on standby for several hours, waiting for a search warrant, before removing the victim’s body and finding the suspect’s body.

The motive for the shooting is still unknown. And details about the victim and the suspect have not been released.

“At this point in the investigation, we’re trying to identify witnesses,” the sheriff said.

Sonja Jensen, coordinator of CSU Greek Life, issued an e-mail warning to campus Greeks Monday evening.

“While this isn’t too close to campus, you can never be too safe,” the warning said. “Please make sure you’re making safe decisions tonight.”

Residents of the neighborhoods surrounding the business voiced concern about the shooter being on the loose.

“It is shocking, and I feel so bad for the family,” said Mike Boddy who lives in the neighborhood behind the business complex. “We are going to lock our doors tonight; that’s for sure.”

The City of Fort Collins, commonly called “the choice city,” reports only having seven murders /- now eight – since 1999, according to the city’s Web site.

Associate news managing editor J. David McSwane contributed to this report.

Senior reporter Emily Polak can be reached at news@collegian.com.

__________________________________

Anyone with information about the shooting should call the Larimer County Sheriff’s Department at 970-498-5100.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.