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Simon J. GONZALES

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Parricide
Number of victims: 3
Date of murders: June 23, 1999
Date of birth: 1969
Victims profile: Rebecca, 10, Katheryn, 8, and Leslie, 7 (his three daughters)
Method of murder: Shooting (9mm Taurus pistol)
Location: Castle Rock, Colorado, USA
Status: Killed in a shootout with officers the same day
 
 
 
 
 
 
Castle Rock v. Gonzales
 
 
 
 
 
 

Man Killed Attacking Police Station

Los Angeles Times

June 24, 1999

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. A man was killed in a shootout with officers after driving up to the police station and opening fire early Wednesday. His three daughters were found dead in his bullet-riddled pickup truck.

An initial investigation concluded Simon J. Gonzales shot the girls before driving to the police station, said Michael Knight, a spokesman for the 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office.

"It appears the children were dead when they arrived at the police department," Knight said. "The preliminary investigation does not indicate any of the officers' bullets struck the children."

Gonzales' wife had contacted police hours earlier because she was concerned about the safety of the girls, Police Chief Tony Lane said. She also said Gonzales, 30, had suicidal tendencies. Lane would not elaborate.

Authorities identified Gonzales' children as Rebecca, 10, Katheryn, 8, and Leslie, 7.

Mike Carter, a neighbor and family friend, said Gonzales and his wife began having marital problems earlier this year.

She obtained a court order May 21 to keep Gonzales 100 feet away from their home. Court records listed the reason as domestic abuse. The two separated and she filed for divorce Dec. 29.

 
 

Simon J. Gonzales

June 24, 1999

Colorado police killed Simon J. Gonzales, 30, in a shootout after he apparently killed his three young children and then started shooting up the police station. The shootout happened about 3:25 a.m. when Gonzales, 30, drove up to the station in a white pickup, got out and started firing into the one-story brick building. Officers inside returned fire, fatally wounding Gonzales.

Moments later they discovered the bodies of the three girls, ages 7, 8 and 10, inside the cab of the pickup. Police said Gonzales' estranged wife, whose name was not released, called police hours before the shootout, concerned about the girls' safety. She mentioned that her husband had suicidal tendencies.

 
 

Simon J. Gonzales

Around 6 p.m. on the day of the murders Gonzales called a gun dealer who had advertised a handgun in a newspaper for $375 dollars, said police. The background check took about one hour.

Simon Gonzales' wife had obtained a temporary restraining order that required him to stay away from the family. But he had not been served with the documentation, so that information did not turn up in the required background check, the district attorney's office said.

Bill Palsulich of Lakewood, a federally licensed gun dealer, sold a 9mm Taurus pistol and 30 rounds of ammunition to Gonzales for $375 about 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday while Rebecca, Katheryn and Leslie played in his front yard. Palsulich, who had advertised three pistols in a newspaper ad, conducted a background check with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. After an initial rejection, Gonzales was cleared and the gun changed hands.

"He followed all the expectations of his license,'' Knight said of Palsulich.

The FBI background check failed to pick up a temporary restraining order issued against Gonzales.

Palsulich described Gonzales as a "quiet, pleasant'' young man. Gonzales was not edgy or distraught, he said.

Gonzales said that he wanted the 9mm Taurus pistol so he and his son could go target shooting together.

 
 

Simon J. Gonzales

The Douglas County coroner examined the girls' bodies. The wounds appeared to be from a 9mm handgun and did not match any of the weapons used by officers who shot and killed Gonzales, 30, about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, said Mike Knight, spokesman for the 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office. Knight said the girls did not appear to suffer any defensive wounds. The coroner was unable to determine the exact time of death but narrowed it to between 11 p.m. Tuesday and 3 a.m. on Wednesday, shortly before their father drove up to the police station and opened fire.

"We believe they were killed inside the truck,'' Knight said, adding that police suspect it was a suicidal Gonzales who fired the shots that killed the three girls.

The bullets that killed the girls passed through the cab of the truck, Knight said, but no bullets were found on the ground or under the truck. That indicates the girls were killed before Gonzales drove up to the station, he said.

 
 

Simon J. Gonzales

Very early (about 3:25 a.m.) on the morning of June 23, 1999, a man (later identified as Simon Gonzales) pulled his white pickup into the parking lot of Castle Rock police station, got out and started firing into the one-story brick building. The shots shattered a window and narrowly missed an officer on duty inside.

Officers returned fire, fatally wounding Gonzales, 30.

Obviously they were a little surprised by the mans actions, but nothing could prepare them for what they found in his car.

They discovered the gunman's three daughters, Rebecca, 10; Katheryn, 8, and Leslie, 7, dead inside the bullet riddled truck.

Gonzales' estranged wife, whose name was not released, had called police twice in the hours leading up to the shoot out, concerned about the her daughters safety. She mentioned that they were with her husband, and that he had suicidal tendencies. It didn't take long to figure out who the kids were.

Mike Carter, a friend of the family, said that Gonzales had picked up the children to take them to an amusement park, but the wife was afraid he would not return them, according to an account the wife gave to Carter's wife.

From what I have read it would seem most likely that Simon took the kids somewhere quiet, stepped out of the car, then shot the kids from outside the car. He then became pretty freaked out by what he did, couldn't actually kill himself, so he went to the police station and let them do it for him. It's not the first time that this has happened and it definetly wont be the last.

Interesting Bits.

THE SHOOT OUT HAD WITNESSES

The shots fired into the station awakened two people staying at a relative's house across the street.

"Four shots, real clear, four shots. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang,'' said Ellen Walls, 25, of Killeen, Texas.

Her husband, Justin Walls, 22, said they looked outside and he saw an officer kneel down and order the gunman to drop his weapon.

"At that point, the guy started shooting, and the officer fired at him,'' Walls said.

The Wacky World of Murder

 

 

 
 
 
 
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