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Jan 5, 2013 5:21 PM by Associated Press

4 people dead after hours-long police standoff at a CO townhome

AURORA, Colo. (AP) - Four people are dead following a hostage standoff in Aurora, Colo.

Police Sgt. Cassidee Carlson says a SWAT team was called after gunshots were heard at the Aurora, Colo., townhome at about 3 a.m. Saturday. Investigators say three victims appeared to have been killed before officers arrived.

Police had tried negotiating with the man, but the standoff ended in a gunfight when police entered the home. It's unclear whether officers shot the suspect of he killed himself.

Police say the three other people killed appear to have died before officers arrived at the scene.

A fifth person escaped uninjured, but Carlson declined to elaborate.

Violence put Aurora in the national spotlight nearly six months ago after a gunman's bloody rampage inside a Colorado movie theater left 12 people dead. Prosecutors will go to court Monday to outline their case against the suspect, James Holmes.

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