Mayor Suthers reflects on latest major shootings in Colorado Springs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The latest major shootings in Colorado Springs doesn’t come as a surprise to Mayor John Suthers.

“If you’re a big city mayor, you have to be prepared for the fact that something like this could happen in your city,” Suthers said.

Colorado Springs is the 41st largest city in the U.S., making it a major metropolitan area and making criminal behavior fairly high risk.

The city saw its first major shooting this year downtown on the eve of Halloween, leaving four dead, including the gunman. The second happened on Nov. 27th at Planned Parenthood, leaving three dead with the suspect in custody.

“Colorado Springs has a much lower crime rate than comparably sized cities. That doesn’t mean we don’t have any crime, that doesn’t mean we don’t have any mentally ill people, that doesn’t mean we don’t have any ideological zealots, yes we do,” Suthers said.

While these shootings happened within the mayor’s first six months in office, Suthers is no stranger to dealing with criminal activity after working as the district attorney, U.S. Attorney, and attorney general.

He says law enforcement responded to the downtown and Planned Parenthood shootings as well as they could have.

“There’s a big controversy, should be police departments really have some of these vehicles that they have to penetrate walls and things like that. I think the Planned Parenthood incident showed yes, you do need that kind of equipment,” Suthers said.

Suthers says while every incident is a learning experience.

“I can tell you based on the performance of the first responders in the incidents that occurred in Colorado Springs, I have a high level of confidence that we’re as prepared as can possibly be,” Suthers said.

Suthers says more active shooter incidents will continue around the country and he’ll work to ensure police have quality training and are well-financed in their equipment.

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