Owner: 2 Women 'Very Jovial' Before Deadly Shooting

Both Women Were Using Same Shooting Lane At Cherry Creek State Park Shooting Range

A Cherry Creek State Park shooting range owner said two women appeared "very jovial" before a bizarre Monday afternoon shooting that left one woman dead and the other undergoing surgery.

The unidentified women, both age 29, were each shot in the head about 2:50 p.m., said Capt. Louie Perea, with the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office.

Doug Hamilton, who operates the Family Shooting Center at the state park, said the shots appeared to be fired simultaneously in range stall 18, where the women had been shooting at targets for about 90 minutes, 7NEWS Reporter Jaclyn Allen reported from the scene.

"Apparently, the two women were shot simultaneously, or thereabouts. The how or why, we really don't know," said Hamilton.

Perea said it's not clear if the shooting was accidental or an act of foul play.

Hamilton stressed that the deadly shooting was not a safety issue, adding that the women were not regulars and he'd never seen them before. He said the women were using small-caliber guns and about 20 or 30 people were using the range at the time.

"There's more to this shooting. People shouldn't be afraid to come out," he said.

One woman was pronounced dead at the scene and the other woman was transported to a local hospital, Perea said. She was conscious when transported, but later underwent surgery, he said.

Investigators reviewed a surveillance video camera, but it did not show what happened in the shooting stall, which has side partitions that blocked the camera view, said Perea. But the video made clear no one entered the stall besides the two women.

"We could not see what actually transpired," said Perea. "However, we did not see anyone leaving or coming in prior to or just after the incident, so we believe it was contained within the stall."

People in other shooting-range stalls said they didn't see or hear any arguing or altercation before the shooting, Perea said. But he added that the shooters wear protective headphones and eyeglasses, which along with stall partitions, could impair their ability to hear or see what happened.

He said detectives are examining the relationship between the women.

Perea said there was no shooter at large and no public safety threat.

AirTracker7, flying over the shooting center at 4201 S. Parker Road, showed several sheriff's vehicles, including a mobile command center, on scene.

The office manager for Cherry Creek State Park, Joyce Levis, said the rangers responding to the shooting reported "two victims involved, one person possibly shot in the head."

The shooting center is on state park property but operated by a private concessionaire, Hamilton Family Enterprises, Inc., according to park officials and secretary of state records.

The shooter center's website describes it as "a full service public outdoor range offering pistol shooting, rifle shooting at 50 yards and 100 yards, shotgun shooting and archery. Our shotgun ranges include pedestal trap, American trap, and 5-stand sporting clays."

"We have responded to that shooting range for accidental shootings and suicide attempts in the past," said Pera.

But, he said the exact number of shootings or dates were not immediately available. He said it is not common, but it does happen that people commit suicide at shooting ranges.