Murder-Suicide Investigation

Shooting Investigation
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The El Paso County Sheriff's Office is investigating an apparent murder-suicide just east of Colorado Springs.

Sheriff's deputies were called to the Constitution Square Heights Apartments around 9 a.m. Tuesday morning. That's near the intersection of Constitution and Peterson Roads. The officers discovered the bodies of a man, woman and two young boys in one of the apartments. They were dead from gunshot wounds. It is believed they had been dead for one or two days.

The victims are identified as:

  • Rutendra Raghunandan, age 32
  • Lolita Raghunandan, age 32
  • Akash Raghunandan, age 10
  • Rene Raghunandan, age 5

    Investigatators say Mrs. Raghunandan and the boys had just recently moved into the apartment. They believe her husband shot her and the children and then killed himself. Deputies are talking with neighbors to learn if anyone heard anything before the bodies were discovered.

    On September 11th, Mr. Raghunandan was arrested for breaking into his wife's apartment and assaulting her. He was charged with Second Degree Burglary, Third Degree Assault and Domestic Violence. He was booked into the Criminal Justice Center. The following day he was released from CJC on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond.

    Mr. Raghunandan was an employee of the Colorado Department of Corrections. Since April of 1999, he worked as a corrections officer at the Denver Women's Correctional Facility. A DOC official says corrections officers are not routinely issued weapons, unless they are investigators or parole officers. Mr. Raghunandan was not employed in that capacity.

    The DOC was notified about Mr. Raghunandan's arrest on Friday. Measures were already in the works to suspend him on Monday, but an official says they could not locate him.

    The two boys attended Evans Elementary. A D-49 spokesperson says counselors are on-hand to assist students in coping with the deaths of their classmates.