DENVER — A 5th-grade student at Traylor Academy and her parents were killed in a shooting at their southwest Denver home Thursday night, according to the Denver Police Department. The couple's son, who is also a student at Traylor Academy, escaped the home unharmed.
"It's just senseless, you had a family, basically ... it's just tragic, it was terrible," said DPD's Joseph Montoya.
A fourth adult was also injured, but not by gunfire, police said.
Officers responded to the 3000 block of South Golden Way just after 9:30 p.m. Thursday in the Bear Valley neighborhood just west of Sheridan Boulevard and north of Highway 285.
One woman was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. The girl and a man were taken to nearby hospitals where they later died, according to police.
"In all my time as a police officer, this is one of the most emotional cases that I've ever dealt with," Montoya said. "I'm not just talking about myself, everybody that was involved in this, from the victims' advocates to the hospital workers, were shaken by this incident."
The girl was a student at Traylor Academy in the Denver Public School District (DPS).
"Our entire school district is saddened by this news. We send our condolences to the family and friends of the ones who passed away, said Susana Cordova, the superintendent of DPS. "We have been communicating with them to provide support and assistance and will continue to do so."
The statement went on to say that the district is providing counseling and support for students and educators. It also provided a link which includes information on how to talk to your children about what happened.
Traylor Academy also posted a message on its Facebook page.
"Our school community has been rocked to our core with the violent episode in Bear Valley on Thursday night," the Facebook post says. "We are grieving the loss of our fifth grader and her parents, and are wrapping our arms around her surviving brother, a student of ours, too. Our staff is doing an amazing job supporting our students, and each other."
The suspect, Bustaman Kartabrata, 59, was located and arrested in northeast Denver. He's being held for investigation of three counts of first-degree murder and felony menacing.
He was "very well acquainted" with the family, according to police. They're still trying to determine his exact relationship to the victims, including the possibility that he's related in some way to them.
"We do not know at this time what the exact motive was. It was some sort of conflict," Montoya said.
Anyone with information on the shooting can call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867.
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