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Nov 10, 2013 1:37 AM by Tony Spehar - tspehar@koaa.com

Neighbors react to violent Saturday morning in Black Forest as hunt for murder suspect continues

Two people were killed and a third hospitalized after multiple shootings during a chaotic Saturday morning in Black Forest that saw multiple crime scenes throughout the area and the beginning of a manhunt for the person responsible.

The first incident began with a 911 call to the El Paso County Sheriff's Department at 8:30 a.m. reporting a home invasion on the 11000-block of Timberlane Court. Responding deputies discovered a shooting scene in one of the homes, the first of many crime scenes they would find on Saturday.

"It is a shocker and that's the benefit of living in a neighborhood like this is you don't have that kind of activity, you hope you don't and here we are talking about it," explained Jim Gallagher, who lives at the corner of Timber Lane and Howells Road. "It's sad."

A morning of shock for those living in the normally quiet neighborhood turned to a day of confusion wondering what exactly had happened. Then came the midday announcement by the sheriff's office that two people had been fatally shot among multiple crime scenes in Black Forest and a third person had been hospitalized with gunshot wound.

"We keep watch on each other pretty closely and we know who lives here and who doesn't, we memorize their cars pretty well," described Chris Brady, who has lived on Timber Lane for 15-years. "Nothing like this has even remotely happened."

Not far from the scene on Timberlane Court another crime scene was discovered on Barrows Road where investigators combed the nearby woods. The El Paso County Sheriff's Department released few specific details about Saturday's events, but did say the crime scenes on Timberlane Court and Barrows Road were connected. Where the two people died and where the third was shot was not specified.

"Hopefully we'll get some more news and we can find out what's going on and hopefully make some sense out of it," Jim Gallagher said.

Investigators did release a description of a suspect who is a white male in his 40s, wearing all black, and possibly carrying a black duffel bag. The suspect may be driving a stolen 2002 Honda Odyssey painted red with Colorado license plates reading 048GJB and is considered armed and dangerous. The sheriff's office also asked for the public's help in finding 46-year-old Kenneth Lankford who is described as a person of interest.

Lankford lost his home on the 6600-block of Shoup Road in the Black Forest Fire according to neighbors and a damage report from the El Paso County Sheriff's Office. People in the area said he often stayed in a tent on the property.

"I don't know much about him other than his wife brought their dog over for me to watch one day because she was worried about him harming the dog while she was at work," said Jill Freeman, who lives near the Barrows Road crime scene. "Some of the neighbors have said he was a problem, but I don't know what kind of a problem."

Freeman said she didn't know Kenneth Lankford well and spent the day wondering how he could be connected to the violence of Saturday morning.

"My first encounter (with Lankford) was roaring music at night and I tracked it down because it's so quite out here," she described. "It was just strange to have somebody like that in our neighborhood."

Investigators spent all Saturday night at all of the crime scenes in Black Forest.

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