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Double-murder suspect kills self during police pursuit

Two women were found dead and the man who fled the scene crashed, then died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound

By Daniel Chacon
The Gazette

PEYTON, Colo. — Two women were found dead inside a home on Oasis Avenue on Monday afternoon, and a man who fled the scene and led deputies on a chase died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound after crashing, officials said.

El Paso County sheriff's deputies were called to the home, near the intersection of Judge Orr and J.D. Johnson roads, on a report of a shooting about 4:15 p.m., sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Joe Roybal said. Roybal would not say who called to report the shooting.

"Deputies arrived on scene and observed two obviously deceased females inside the residence," he said.

The suspect fled the residence, driving east on Colorado 94 and then north on Colorado 71 before crashing his vehicle in Lincoln County. The man appears to have shot himself after the crash, Roybal said.

The home where the women's bodies were discovered, at 19870 Oasis Ave., is owned by James W. Buchanan, according to El Paso County assessor's records. It is unknown if Buchanan lives at the property.

Marty Gunnell, who lives next to the home where the shooting happened, said he met a couple who lived in the home, but they only talked over the fence. Gunnell said he moved to Peyton from North Carolina in February.

The man, named Jim, and his wife, whose name he didn't know, were always outside working on their yard, he said. He described the man as "a really mellow guy" and said believed the woman "was doing some sort of a hospice thing."

Gunnell said he was home when deputies "started dragging out their assault rifles."

"The next thing I know we've got a helicopter landing next door. It's not often you have a helicopter land in Peyton," he said, adding that he believed it was a helicopter for medical care.

Another neighbor, Katie Wood, said she came home about 4 p.m. — before the sheriff's office said it received the report of a shooting — to find deputies and a Calhan police officer at the end of Oasis Avenue, "kind of blocking the road."

They let her through, she said. About 10 minutes later, while washing dishes, she said she looked out her kitchen window and saw three law enforcement officers running through the field with their guns drawn.

When she and a neighbor went outside to see what was happening, she said they ordered them back inside. Moments later, she said she saw a white Chevrolet Cavalier fleeing the scene and deputies giving chase.

Wood said the incident left her shaken.

"I have a little one. I do fear for my safety a little bit," she said.

Meanwhile, Colorado Springs police were investigating the scene where the body of a male was discovered in a field behind a drug store near the intersection of South Academy Boulevard and South Chelton Road.

The man appeared to have traumatic injuries, police said, but did not elaborate.

The body was discovered about 2:20 p.m.; the man's name has not been released, pending an autopsy and notification of next of kin.

The Colorado Springs Fire Department was assisting at the scene, and about 5:30 p.m. had extended a ladder over the field where the body was discovered.

Copyright 2013 The Gazette

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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