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Man taken into custody in connection to Black Forest shootings

November 9, 2013 Updated: November 10, 2013 at 8:48 am
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photo - Kenneth Lankford is being sought as a person of interest in Saturday's double homicide in Black Forest.
Kenneth Lankford is being sought as a person of interest in Saturday's double homicide in Black Forest. 

UPDATE: Kenneth F. Lankford has been found, according to multiple TV reports.

KOAA is reporting that Lankford was taken into custody at 7:15 a.m. Sunday. El Paso County Sheriff's Office, Colorado Springs police, SWAT and air support were used to bring Lankfrod in, according to KOAA.

Stay with www.gazette.com for more developments.

-Here is an earlier story

Shootings killed two people and injured a third in Black Forest on Saturday and deputies were hunting a man with 23-year criminal record spanning two states as a "person of interest."

Deputies say the man being sought, Kenneth F. Lankford, 46, is tied to one of the homes in Black Forest where shootings occurred. Deputies spent hours combing two homes about two miles apart off Shoup Road Saturday after getting the first shooting report at about 8:30 a.m.

The surviving victim was taken to a local hospital, but that person's condition is unknown.

Officials won't say who was shot, what the motive might be or why they want to talk to Lankford - who has a record of arrests dating to 1990 in Texas and Utah.

"We have no clues as to the whereabouts of Lankford," said Sheriff's Office Sgt. Joe Roybal.

A crowd of deputies taped off a wide swath around 11725 Timberlane Court, in a neighborhood of unpaved roads where lots are measured in acres.

Information they obtained there led them two hours later to 6685 Burrows Road, which was taped off as a second crime scene, Roybal said.

In sheriff's records, calls to both addresses are noted as "shooting."

On Twitter, deputies described the first call as a "home invasion."

Neighbors say they been through much in recent months, including June's Black Forest fire, which destroyed hundreds of homes in the heavily timbered area. The fire was followed by destructive flooding.

They're used to Mother Nature, but not serious crime.

"This is shocking," said T. Greenwood, who lives next to the shooting scene on Burrows Road.

Neighbors who lived near Lankford, on the 6600 block of Shoup Road, between the shooting scenes weren't saying much.

An Internet search showed that Lankford advertised puppies for sale - American bulldogs, and sought work as a handyman.

When asked about Lankford's personality, one neighbor had a short reply.

"You don't want to go there," she said.

Lankford has a long criminal history. Records show his first arrest conviction came in 1990 in Texas for a burglary and misdemeanor assault.

Kenneth Lankford's uncle, Norce Lankford, of Longview, Texas, says he hasn't seen his nephew in nearly a decade.

He described Kenneth Lankford as "probably one of the nicest people in the whole world."

But when provoked, "he gets violent," Norce Lankford said. "But he doesn't start trouble."

Kenneth Lankford has struggled with drugs and mental illness, Norce Lankford said.

Norce Lankford says he's concerned that Kenneth Lankford is headed for Longview, where he has family.

"My main concern is that he does not come here for any reason, if he's done what they're saying he's done," he said. "We hope he doesn't get killed, but we do hope they catch him and put him back in prison where he can get the right medication to keep him calm."

Lankford's most recent criminal convictions came in Utah, where a string of trouble began in 2001.

Utah court records show convictions for crimes including assault, drug possession and forgery.

In 2005, Lankford was ranked 4th on Utah's Most Wanted list, according to a story in the Salt lake Tribune.

Authorities told the paper that Lankford had failed to report to a parole officer after serving a prison stint for a stabbing and fled into the wildlands near Moab when pursued.

Lankford was caught and returned to prison. He was released in September 2008 from Utah's Draper Prison, records show.

Deputies in Black Forest say Lankford, who stands 5-foot-10, weighs 200 pounds and has brown hair, may be driving a red 2002 Honda Odyssey minivan with Colorado plate 048 GJB.

If you spot Lankford, deputies ask that you call 9-1-1.

- Erin Prater and Garrison Wells contributed to this report

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