A woman who was shot inside a downtown Denver office building this week, triggering a massive police response, has died, gunned down by her estranged husband who then committed suicide, police said on Wednesday.
The 53-year-old victim had recently filed for divorce from her husband, who hunted her down at her workplace on Tuesday, shooting her multiple times, Denver Police Commander Ron Saunier told a news conference.
“He came there with the intent of getting the victim,” Saunier said, adding that when police officers arrived at the scene, the 58-year-old gunman had killed himself.
Denver’s Office of the Medical Examiner identified the dead as Cara Russell and her husband Mickey Russell.
Cara Russell, who suffered multiple gunshot wounds, was taken to a local hospital following the shooting where she was later pronounced dead, Saunier said.
When reports of an active shooter surfaced at midafternoon on Tuesday, SWAT officers and other first responders converged on the Alliance Center in the city’s bustling lower downtown area.
Cara Russell was the executive director of the Colorado Association for Recycling, an organization that has office space inside the building, according to Center spokesman Andy Boian. The Center is home to 49 separate organizations, many of which focus on environmental sustainability.
Local TV footage showed office workers fleeing with their hands above their heads as they were evacuated from the building around the time of Tuesday’s shooting.
Saunier said the massive police response is standard procedure when there are reports of an active shooter, especially in Colorado which has experienced several mass shootings in recent years.
Investigators have learned that the gunman, who lived in the mountain town of Buena Vista, Colorado, was emotionally unstable and there were “rumblings” that he could harm his wife, Saunier said, but he had no criminal record.
The Denver Post newspaper reported that Cara Russell had previously served as Buena Vista’s mayor before working for the environmental group.