LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – Lakewood police say one of their officers was involved in a shooting in the Belmar shopping area on Monday night. Police officials say this crime spree started with deadly shootings in Denver.
“We have every reason to believe that several instances in Denver are connected, that happened before our incidents here in Lakewood,” said John Romero, spokesman for Lakewood Police.
In total, five people were killed, including the suspect.
LPD working an officer involved shooting in Belmar area. More info to come, including media staging area.
— Lakewood Police Dept. (@LakewoodPDCO) December 28, 2021
Lakewood police say they first received a call about shots fired at Colfax Ave. and Kipling St. at around 6 p.m. One person died at that scene. Police had a section of a parking lot in front of a liquor store, tattoo parlor and Thai restaurant taped off.
Police officials say they gathered information about the suspect vehicle.
Officers found that suspect vehicle in the Belmar area, and when they tried to approach the suspect, they shot at officers who shot back at the suspect. The suspect was able to get away on foot.
There was also heavy police presence at Alaska Drive and Vance Street. Police say the suspect committed “felony menacing” at one store while armed.
Then the suspect went inside the Hyatt House hotel on Alaska Drive. The suspect allegedly shot one person inside the hotel, and that victim was taken to the hospital. Police don’t have information about that victim.
Officers then confronted the suspect again outside of the hotel, and the suspect reportedly shot at them, hitting one officer. The officer is in surgery in unknown condition.
The suspect died at that scene. Lakewood police officials say they do not know if they died by officers’ gunfire.
One woman told CBS4’s Jeff Todd she was inside an Xfinity store when they heard shots.
“We were just in there, my husband and I. You could hear the popping outside. It was like one shot and then maybe five or six more and a couple more after that. Xfinity did an awesome job. They swooped us right inside. Got us in the back room and got the gates down. Fortunately we didn’t see too much,” she said.
She also told CBS4 two of the employees at the store were hit with shrapnel.
Police placed several evidence markers at that intersection in front of the hotel.
Troopers assisting Lakewood in the Belmar area. Numerous businesses have customers and employees still inside. SWAT teams are clearing a very large area inch by inch. Stay inside and stay safe until area cleared by law enforcement. S1
— CSP Golden (@csp_golden) December 28, 2021
Police say there are SWAT officers going through the area to secure it, but they do not believe there are more suspects.