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Published: Thursday, 7/28/2011

Colorado Springs police say 4 people killed in 3 unrelated shootings


DENVER  — The mayor of Colorado Springs called it “a sad day” for his city after a spate of violence: three unrelated shootings that left four people dead and two others wounded.

“The entire community mourns with those who lost loved ones to serious crimes last night,” Mayor Steve Bach said at a news conference Thursday.

Sgt. Steve Noblitt said the three shootings Wednesday night were unrelated and occurred in different areas of the city.

Noblitt said the heaviest toll came in central Colorado Springs, where three men were killed. When police arrived to investigate a report of shots fired, they found two men dead and one wounded. The injured man later died at a hospital.

Noblitt said police would not answer questions about specific investigations. No motives were given for the shootings.

Earlier in the evening, one man was killed and another person was wounded at an AutoZone store in the eastern part of town. Noblitt said the wounded person is recovering.

Noblitt said the suspect in the AutoZone shootings uses two names and ages: Ernest Schmidt, 60, and Edward Coffey, 47. Noblitt said he should be considered armed and dangerous. A warrant was issued for his arrest on murder, attempted murder, kidnapping and robbery charges.

Police responded to a report of shots being fired and found a man lying dead in the parking lot and another person wounded inside the store. The suspect involved remained at large after carjacking a vehicle and taking a man hostage, later releasing him unharmed.

In yet another shooting Wednesday night, police officers wounded a 21-year-old man who had a handgun.

The shooting came after the man ran away from police and took refuge in an apartment building. That shooting is under investigation by the district attorney.

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