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Victims identified after massacre at Colorado Springs birthday party

Victims identified after massacre at Colorado Springs birthday party

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- A family member has identified the six people shot to death at a birthday party this past weekend in Colorado Springs.

According to a family member's report, the victims were all part of the same extended family. The shooting happened early Sunday morning in a mobile home park in the city's southeast side.

The victims were identified as:
Melvin Perez
Mayra Perez
Joana Cruz
Jose Gutierrez
Sandra Ibarra
Jose Ibarra

City officials told CNN that it could take several days to conduct autopsies and make forensic identifications for the victims. Colorado Springs police didn't release any new information on Monday.

Colorado Springs Police say the suspected shooter in the incident appeared to have shot himself and died. The suspect was Sandra's boyfriend, according to a family member who identified the suspect's name as "Junior."

According to Sandra Ibarra's Facebook page, she was listed in a relationship with a "Junior" Macias.

A fundraiser to help pay for funeral expenses for the victims has been set up on Facebook.

TESSA, a Colorado Springs non-profit that works with victims of domestic violence, issued the following statement in response to the shooting.

“With heavy hearts, we struggle to make sense of the shocking violence, and devastating loss that ripped through our community on Sunday morning. While we face the harsh realities of domestic violence on a daily basis, no amount of exposure ever lessens the sheer weight of grief following such senseless tragedy. Our hearts are with those who mourn lost loved ones, and as always, we stand in solidarity with this community as we seek healing. While no amount of progress will ever undo the injuries sustained following this loss, we remain steadfast in our pursuit of a community free of violence where all people can thrive, and we will continue to support recovery in any way we can. If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence or abuse, confidential advocates staff our Safe Line 24/7, and can always be reached at 719-633-3819.”

Anne Markley, CEO, TESSA

Shocked loved ones grieve, sharing their thoughts about the victims.
One family friend spoke with KRDO Newchannel 13'S Jasmine Arenas.
A long time family friend, Dustin Jarvis says he grew up here with Melvin Perez, one of the victims of the shooting. His whole life he knew him to be the nicest person he had ever met.
Today on what would have been Melvin's 31st birthday, Dustin Jarvis wants his friend to be remembered for the joy he brought to the world.

"If you had a bad day he would try to pick you up and make you laugh and just enjoy life, every time I saw him or tried to talk to him he was never upset," expressed Jarvis.

They say you never remember what people say but always remember how they made you feel and for Jarvis who knew Melvin Perez for 11 years, learning about his tragic death just last Sunday has not been easy.

"There is a lot of memories I've had with them and all of them were good, everything was a good time with them," added Jarvis.

Jarvis has a son with Melvin's sister, Nuvia Marquez, the daughter of one of the six victims, Joana Cruz, which is why he spent a lot of time with the family.

"Loving family, they never had a problem with anybody. They were always open arms, come in, if they did not know you, they made you feel at home. They never looked down on anybody they were always caring, hardworking people," said Jarvis.

Reminiscing on each one of the victims he personally knew, saying Mayra Perez, wife to Melvin Perez and mother of three, was a walking angel.

"She would do anything for anybody. She was a loving mother, a very caring person and an amazing cook," said Jarvis.

He shares the same sentiment about Joana Cruz, who traditionally celebrated her birthday every year with her daughter Nuvia and son, Melvin.

"One of a kind kind of lady, she would welcome you with open arms," said Jarvis.

As for Jose Guitierrez, son of Joana Cruz and brother of Melvin and Nuvia, he's described as a quiet yet smart guy.

We also reached out to other family members of the victims, including close friends and most are really saddened and shocked from the news and have respectfully declined interviews at this time.

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