Police in Castle Rock shot and killed a gunman who fired at the Colorado town's police station early this morning, then found the man's three children dead in his pickup truck.
The shootout in the town of about 10,000 people 25 miles south of Denver occurred at about 3:25 a.m. when Simon J. Gonzales, 30, drove his Ford pickup into the parking lot of the police station and fired through a window at an officer working late in the department's record division. The bullet missed the officer by inches.
Other Castle Rock officers responded and exchanged fire with Gonzales after ordering him to drop his weapon. After shooting Gonzales, officers checked the pickup and found the man's three dead daughters, two in the jump seat of the extended-cab vehicle and one in the front passenger seat. Police said Leslie, 7; Katheryn, 8, and Rebecca Lynne, 10, apparently were dead "prior to Gonzales's arrival at the police department."
Castle Rock Police Chief Tony Lane said there is no indication that stray fire from the officers killed the girls but that a definite time and cause of their deaths will not be determined until the coroner completes autopsies. Gonzales's pickup was hit several times by gunfire.
"We certainly hope that's not the case," Lane said. "There is no indication right now that they were caught in any kind of crossfire." Lane said none of the officers involved in the shootout saw any people in the pickup.
The incident occurred about three hours after Gonzales's estranged wife, who was not identified, called Castle Rock police and expressed concern for the safety of her children and told police that her husband had suicidal tendencies.
Castle Rock police had two contacts with Gonzales about three weeks ago, which Lane described as "domestic violence-related incidents."
Gonzales had been scheduled to appear in court today to answer citations for violating a restraining order, trespassing and obstructing the duties of a public official, police said.
CAPTION: Colorado police found daughters of Simon Gonzales dead in his pickup after he shot at officers and was killed.