Colorado Springs police have named two men who were killed early Saturday in what a witness described as a hail of gunfire at a party that drew an estimated 100 revelers to a North Gate neighborhood home.
Francis McKinnis III, 22, and Wolfgang Massie, 18, both of Colorado Springs, were found dead of gunshot wounds in the 11000 block of Hanging Valley Way, near Interquest and Voyager parkways, after police responded to an emergency call at about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, according to a police news release.
Social media pages show that McKinnis, who went by "Tre," went to high school in Hawaii and said he worked as a customer service agent at Hawaiian Airlines. Messages left for his father were not immediately returned and attempts to reach other relatives were unsuccessful.
Massie was a student at Coronado High School until about a month ago, when he stopped attending, according to District 11 spokeswoman Devra Ashby. The high school sports website MaxPreps lists him as a member of Coronado’s 2019 football team. A member of Massie’s family declined to comment.
A witness who spoke on condition of anonymity said the shooting took place at 11925 Hanging Valley Way, during a party that was advertised on social media as a “Black Out Birthday Bash,” with a stripper pole and a “twerking contest” with a $100 prize.
"Do not park on the street," the flyer instructed, listing a $5 cover charge for men and a $2 charge for women, according to a screenshot provided to The Gazette. People under 18 were apparently admitted for $15 per person, the flyer said. Attendees were advised to come wearing "all black or neon for the black light.”
There were at least 100 people there when the witness arrived, and alcohol and drugs were being consumed by several party goers, he said.
About two hours after he arrived, two men got into a verbal argument that turned into a fistfight. Then he heard gunshots, and ran for cover.
“We were running for our lives,” the witness said, adding that he heard at least 40 shots fired.
The witness tried unsuccessfully to hide in a nearby home, he said. When that didn’t work, he just tried to get as far away from the shooting as possible.
When the shooting stopped, the witness returned to his car and found a bullet hole in it. He provided a picture showing the impact at the edge of a door. He said he considers himself lucky to be alive, and he would still be in fear for his safety if he lived in Colorado Springs.
McKinnis and Massie’s deaths are the 36th and 37th homicides in Colorado Springs this year, compared to 24 at this time last year, police said.
Police are asking anyone with information to call the agency at (719) 444-7000. Callers who wish to remain anonymous may call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at (719) 634-STOP (7867) or 1-800-222-8477.
Gazette reporter Olivia Prentzel contributed to this story.