Larry Rosenberg might have opened fire at a senior living complex in Cheyenne on Wednesday because he was upset over other residents playing poker in the common room.
“He did not like it. In fact, a lot of the people didn’t like it,” Mary Eastman, a resident at the Heritage Court Apartments, said after the shootings.
“That’s all I can think of. He was getting fed up with having the poker in there every other day.”
Rosenberg, 77, shot three people at Heritage Court Apartments just northeast of King Soopers on Wednesday morning before fleeing the scene and eventually killing himself.
Cheyenne Police say he shot three other men who lived there: one somewhere inside the building and two outside near the parking lot.
One victim died, and the other two were transported to Cheyenne Regional Medical Center for treatment. Their conditions have not been released, and none of the victims have been identified.
A body was covered with a bright white sheet from head to about the person’s shins and remained outside, undisturbed, facing College Drive throughout the afternoon.
The man appeared to be sitting up in a chair against a wall of the complex. Only his jeans and tennis shoes were not covered by the sheet.
Cheyenne Police Department spokesman Officer Dan Long said the identity of the victims will not be released until at least 24 hours after their next-of-kin have been notified.
The shootings happened around 11:11 a.m. at the Heritage Court Apartments at 3912 Gregg Way, which is at the intersection of Gregg Way and College Drive.
Police blocked traffic – including the busy intersection of College Drive and Dell Range Boulevard – set up a command post and swept the area, searching for the suspect.
Long said officers, working with a witness’ description of the shooter, found Rosenberg near Hot Springs Avenue and Chestnut Drive, south of the Cheyenne Veterans Affairs Medical Center off Pershing Boulevard.
“I’m not sure exactly what he was doing, but as officers approached him, that’s when he did shoot himself,” Long said.
“We had a lot of witnesses that actually came forward, let us know what they saw, and that did help us.”
Rosenberg was transported by ambulance for medical care, but died.
Police are still working on finding out how he fled the scene, Long said.
According to police scanner traffic, he shot himself with a .22-caliber American Arms revolver. Long could not confirm that, however.
Long said a rifle also was found on scene at the apartments, and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was assisting police with determining whether it was used in the shootings.
Long also could not confirm reports that Rosenberg was a military veteran.
Police are still looking for a motive for the shootings and investigating what Rosenberg’s relationships with the victims might have been, Long said.
Additional information might be released today.
Eastman said Rosenberg handed her a letter in the hallway Wednesday morning, but she didn’t read it until after the shootings.
“I came back from my shopping trip, and I opened it,” she said.
Eastman said the envelope was addressed to her, and Rosenberg told her he was on his way to give it to her.
She put it on her kitchen table, unopened, and left.
“I didn’t know what was in the envelope till I got in to get my dog, and that’s when I happened to see it on the table, and I opened it up and read it,” she said.
Eastman said she gave the letter to police and couldn’t remember much of it. But she knows Rosenberg was upset about the poker playing.
She said a resident meeting about the poker games, which were attracting nonresidents, took place a couple of weeks ago, and Rosenberg felt unheard.
“It wasn’t a big meeting. We just went in and gave our opinion,” she said.
Rosenberg was upset but didn’t give Eastman any indication that he might take to violence, she said.
“I think it’s a shame that it happened,” she said of the shootings.
“And I also feel that if they had kept that damned poker game out of the building, it wouldn’t have happened. That is my honest opinion.”
City schools were placed on lockdown as a precaution while police searched for the suspect. The lockdown was lifted about an hour later.
According to a news release from Laramie County School District 1, the district received a report of a disturbance in the neighborhood between Dildine Elementary and Buffalo Ridge Elementary.
Law enforcement contacted district officials and asked them to initiate lockdown procedures at those schools to increase safety for students and staff.
Around 11:50 a.m., law enforcement asked the district to initiate lockdown procedures in all schools, which was done immediately.
All school lockdowns were lifted at 12:30 p.m., and regularly scheduled educational activities resumed.
Long said Wednesday afternoon that police were working with the property manager of the apartments to accommodate residents while the crime scene is being processed.
“Some residents were allowed to stay in their rooms in the building. Some residents did leave,” he said. “If they wanted to leave, we helped them leave.”
Residents who weren’t home at the time of the shootings were going to be allowed to return to their apartments, depending on where the room is located, Long said.
“We’re still processing the crime scene; it’s very much active,” he said.
The American Red Cross began setting up on scene around 2 p.m.
The affordable, independent-living apartments for seniors are managed by Accessible Space Inc., a company based in St. Paul, Minnesota.
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