Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

El Paso County Sheriff's Office identifies victims in Peyton double murder-suicide

JESSE PAUL jesse.paul@gazette.com - Published: June 27, 2013

The three people who died in a double homicide and suicide on Monday in Peyton were identified Thursday by the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.

James Buchanan, 54, killed himself after calling an out-of-state relative to inform them that he had shot his wife, 50-year-old Annetta Buchanan and his mother, 89-year-old Grace Buchanan, according to Lt. Jeff Kramer, a spokesman for the sheriff's office.

About 4:15 p.m. Monday, the sheriff's office received a call from the relative who reported there had been a shooting at 19870 Oasis Ave. When deputies arrived, a man, who was believed to be James Buchanan, fled the residence. Inside the house, deputies found the bodies of the two Buchanan women, who died of gunshot wounds, Kramer said.

Other deputies chased the fleeing vehicle east on Colorado 94, and were joined by troopers from the Colorado State Patrol.

The pursuit crossed into Lincoln County where deputies there deployed "Stop Sticks" just west of Highway 71. James Buchanan avoided the road hazard and turned north on Highway 71, where he continued for two miles before a trooper forced the suspect vehicle to veer off the road.

"Immediately upon the vehicle coming to a stop, James Buchanan took his own life with a firearm," Kramer said.

The El Paso County Coroner's Office determined that all three Buchanan's died of gunshot wounds.

"During the course of the investigation and interviews with family members, no obvious motive has been determined," Kramer said.

James Buchanan worked at Peterson Air Force Base as an environmental engineer with the 21st Civil Engineer Squadron's Environmental Office, a spokeswoman for the base confirmed. He had worked as a civilian employee for the Air Force since 2007.

The Buchanan's were nice people who kept to themselves, said a neighbor who asked to remain anonymous. The neighbor added that the family moved to their home on Oasis Avenue roughly three years ago from Fairbanks, Alaska, for James Buchanan's work.

"Nobody heard it because our houses are not real close together," the neighbor said about the slayings.

Ann Ramos-Hamilton, who owns and rents out the property across the street, said that the Buchanans were constantly working on their yard and would often stop and say hello.

"I know people are really shook up," she said. "We've never had anything like that happen there."

This case marks the sixth homicide investigation in 2013 in unincorporated El Paso County, Kramer said.

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Contact Jesse Paul at 636-0253. Twitter: @JesseAPaul

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