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4 dead, 3 injured in Denver-area 'killing spree'; suspected gunman is dead

Three of them were fatally shot in Denver and another was killed in suburban Lakewood, where an officer was also injured.

Police in Denver have launched a "large-scale" investigation into what authorities have described as a "killing spree" on Monday that left four people dead and three others, including a police officer, injured.

Investigators are working to establish a motive in the deadly incident, which ended after the suspect, who has not been identified, was killed by officers in the Denver suburb of Lakewood, a spokesman with the local police department told reporters.

Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen said during a news conference that the shootings began around 5 p.m. in Denver. Four people were shot at two locations, three fatally, before gunfire erupted between the suspect and Denver police.

Image: 5 Dead In Shooting Spree Around Denver
Police officers stand outside the Sol Tribe tattoo shop on Broadway where two women were killed and a man was injured in a shooting in Denver.Michael Ciaglo / Getty Images

No Denver officers were injured, but the suspect disabled their vehicle before fleeing to Lakewood, Pazen said.

There, police responded to reports of an active shooter just before 6 p.m., Lakewood police spokesman John Romero said. One person was pronounced dead at the scene, he said.

Romero said police were able to get a description of the vehicle and suspect involved in the incident. They were able to "make contact" with the suspect, but Romero said the suspect was able to get away.

The suspect then "menaced another business with a firearm" before arriving at a Hyatt hotel, opening fire and shooting a clerk who was later taken to a hospital, Romero said.

The person's condition wasn't immediately known, according to the police spokesman.

"The shooter then fled the area again," Romero said, before coming "up against one of our agents" and firing a weapon. The officer was wounded and was undergoing surgery as of Monday night, he said.

The suspect was fatally shot by other officers in the department, Romero said.

It wasn't clear what prompted the shootings or how they were linked. But Pazen said his officers had worked to "stop this suspect from this killing spree."

"This is the holiday season. To have this type of spree take place is not normal for our community," he said. "We cannot lose sight of the victims in this, the people that are still fighting for their lives, including a Lakewood agent."