DENVER
07/28/2011 10:42 am ET Updated Sep 27, 2011

Colorado Springs Rocked By 3 Separate Shootings: 4 Dead, 2 Wounded In The Span Of Hours

Three apparently unrelated shootings in Colorado Springs Wednesday night left four dead, two injured, and police scrambling to respond, officers and local media reported.

By 11:45 p.m., Colorado Springs Police posted on Twitter that they could only respond to emergency calls.

"The Colorado Springs Police Department is currently on Priority One Status due to several major incidents occurring simultaneously," the department said in a release linked on the micro-blogging site. "If the public is reporting a non-emergent call or complaint, we are asking the public to refrain from calling until tomorrow to make these reports."

The melee began just after 8 p.m. Wednesday with a carjacking-gone-wrong that ended in the parking lot of an AutoZone, police said in a statement. The target of the carjacking was released unharmed, but police discovered one man dead in the parking lot and a second victim shot inside.

Minutes later, officers responded to a disturbance at an apartment complex about four miles away, where they found a 21-year-old man with a handgun roaming the parking lot, according to police reports. The Colorado Springs Gazette reported that the man then fled into an apartment, where he was shot by police. The man did not appear to have fired, police told the paper.

According to the Gazette:

Castle Hewitt, who lives next door to where the man was shot, said she noticed the man burning the clothes of his girlfriend after the two got into an argument Wednesday evening.

She then saw officers arrive and try to contact the man -- but backed away when they noticed he had a gun.

A few minutes later, she heard 8-10 gunshots ring out next to her apartment, with one of the bullets careening into her living room and through a glass door in the back of her apartment.

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He was treated at a local hospital.

Then, at 10:21 that night, a police responded to reports of gunfire to find two people shot dead and a third critically wounded. That man died en route to the hospital and was pronounced dead, Colorado Springs Police said.