911 caller among four dead in Colo murder-suicide

By DAN ELLIOTT and STEVEN K. PAULSON
Neighborhood residents talk amid crime-scene tape at the scene of an apparent murder-suicide, which officials say left four dead inside a home, according to officials, in Longmont, Colo., Tuesday Dec. 18, 2012.  Weld County sheriff’s spokesman Tim Schwartz says dispatchers heard the woman who called 911 scream “No, no, no,” and then they heard a gunshot. Schwartz says a man grabbed the phone and said he was going to kill himself, and dispatchers heard another shot.  (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
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Neighborhood residents talk amid crime-scene tape at the scene of an apparent murder-suicide, which officials say left four dead inside a home, according to officials, in Longmont, Colo., Tuesday Dec. 18, 2012. Weld County sheriff’s spokesman Tim Schwartz says dispatchers heard the woman who called 911 scream “No, no, no,” and then they heard a gunshot. Schwartz says a man grabbed the phone and said he was going to kill himself, and dispatchers heard another shot. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

LONGMONT, Colo. (AP) — Emergency phone line operators heard the sound of gunfire early Tuesday as a Colorado woman called 911 and was apparently killed by a man who then picked up the phone and told dispatchers he was going to kill himself before they heard the sound of another shot, authorities said.

Investigators think the unidentified woman and man were among four people found dead at a home near Longmont, about 35 miles north of Denver, in what police are characterizing as a murder-suicide.

Operators heard the woman scream "no, no, no," cries that were immediately followed by what sounded like a gunshot, Weld County sheriff's spokesman Tim Schwartz said. A man then took the phone and apparently shot himself as dispatchers remained on the line, Schwartz said. That was the end of the call, he said.

Authorities have not identified the victims or the man they suspect as the shooter. The dead included two men and two women. Police said they are convinced the gunman was among those killed.

There were no apparent survivors, Schwartz said.

It was unclear whether all four lived in the home, Schwartz said.

Investigators think they have uncovered a motive for the shootings, Schwartz said. He refused to release such details, however.

A handgun believed to be murder weapon was recovered.

As investigators searched the home, a woman slipped under the crime tape and ran toward the house. The unidentified woman was restrained by police, fell to the ground on her knees and began crying before being led away.

A pickup truck with Texas license plates, meanwhile, sat idling in the driveway while police waited for permission to enter the vehicle. A neighbor said it had been running since morning.

Several neighbors described what happened around 4 a.m. Tuesday.

Joyce Vibbert said she heard three gunshots and a woman's voice.

"It was just screaming. I couldn't hear what she was saying. It was just screaming," she said.

Vibbert said she couldn't see what was happening from her bedroom window.

Kathy Tubb said she heard the shots at about the same time.

She said when her husband went outside to warm up the car to go to work he saw a policeman wearing a helmet and armed with a rifle standing in the street. Tubb said her husband was worried there might be a gunman still on the loose.

Desirae Swazoe said she awoke shortly after 4 a.m. and heard repeated shouting, "Weld County Sheriff's Department! Open the back door! Do it now!"

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Associated Press writer Steven K. Paulson reported from Denver.