Another Mass Shooting Feared Upon Active Shooter Reports, Murder-Suicide Attempt Stalls Downtown Denver [Update]

Denver police cordoned off nine square blocks after responding to an "active shooter" report at the Alliance Center in Downtown Denver. In what turned out to be a murder-suicide, initial reports said that there were several people shot and that there was an active shooter on the loose, explaining why such a large area was blocked off. Witnesses said a large number of people were running from the building screaming, "There's an active shooter!" around 3 p.m., in an area that was heavily populated with shoppers, tourists, and office workers. Police responded quickly and the area was secured within 45 minutes.

One woman was shot several times and is in critical condition at Denver Health, and the shooter was dead from self-inflicted gunshot wounds by the time police arrived. There is no information regarding the victim or shooter's identity or the nature of their relationship.

"You don't think it's going to be your office and today someone was shot a floor below me when I came to work not suspecting anything on a Tuesday and I'm really sick of it."
News 7 reporter Tony Kovaleski was on the ground from the beginning, and interviewed Nicole, a witness inside the building who said she was on a video conference call and didn't hear anything because she had a headset on, but a coworker came in and said that there were loud bangs and people screaming. They were trying to decide whether to hide or run, and Nicole said that because of an article on Facebook about what to do in an active shooter situation -- an article she almost didn't bother to read -- she knew to escape. She and her coworkers ran several blocks and kept running until they found a police officer parked in his vehicle and they jumped in.The Alliance Center is located at 1536 Wynkoop and houses several environmental and political groups in addition to being an event center. Police swarmed the area and encouraged residents and business owners to shelter in place. Tattered Cover manager Caleb Goertz told the Denver Post that he and approximately 32 other people were locked inside the business and were clueless as to what was going on.
"We don't know any details, we just saw people coming out of the Alliance Center with their hands up. Not sure if they were involved or trapped or whatever."
The area will be blocked off for a long time and part of the consequences of the downtown Denver shooting is that it will create a major headache for people getting off work and trying to go home. The lockdown will affect RTD and the 16th Street Mall shuttle buses are not running.Downtown Denver has been inundated with violence recently, and police have increased their presence on the 16th Street Mall after video surfaced of recent violence against an office worker and a good Samaritan who were attacked by a group of aggressive panhandlers called "urban travelers" who tend to harass people unwilling to give them money. This is the latest of what seems to be a weekly occurrence of public shootings, and the downtown Denver shooting at the Alliance Center has instilled more fear in a state that has already had two major mass shootings, the Aurora Theatre Shootings, and Columbine High School Shootings.

Update: The two people involved with the murder-suicide incident at the Alliance Center in Downtown Denver have been identified as Mickey and Cara Russell, according to 9 News. Cara, the 52-year-old director of the Colorado Association of Recycling, was shot multiple times by her estranged husband 58-year-old Mickey, whom she moved to Denver from Buena Vista to get away from. Apparently, he had become mentally unstable had traveled to Denver with the intent to do harm. Cara Russell was the Buena Vista Mayor six years ago.

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