hospital shooting

A Colorado Springs police cruiser blocks the entrance to UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central to investigate a shooting Saturday.

An El Paso County man fatally shot his sister, who was a patient at UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central, before killing himself in an apparent murder-suicide Saturday, Colorado Springs police said Wednesday.

Yuzef Ocheretinsky, 72, killed Victoria Ocheretinsky, 74, in a room at the Colorado Springs hospital in the 1400 block of East Boulder Street before turning the gun on himself, police said.

The shooting sent officers rushing into the hospital with pistols and rifles drawn about 1 p.m. They found the siblings dead in a hospital room, said police spokesman Lt. Jim Sokolik.

Further details about the shooting have not been released.

The siblings came to the United States after the fall of the Soviet Union, and they lived together in the Security area while renting out at least two other nearby properties, said Christopher Desilets, who rented a house from them in Widefield.

Victoria Ocheretinsky was extremely ill, Desilets said, and her brother took constant care of her.

Her illness appeared to be getting worse in recent months, forcing Yuzef Ocheretinsky to spend an increasing amount of time at home caring for her.

Word of the siblings’ deaths came as a surprise to Desilets, who had been in talks with Yuzef Ocheretinsky to buy the house he had been renting.

“He was very sweet — both of them were very sweet people,” Desilets said. “This is shocking.”

The only metal detector at the hospital is at the entrance to the emergency room, and a hospital spokeswoman said Saturday that the shooter likely brought the gun inside through an unprotected entrance.

Police officers investigating crimes and incidents are routinely at the hospital, but none are assigned there.

The hospital has security guards, but they are not armed.

A call Wednesday to UCHealth about whether the hospital planned to arm guards or take other security measures was not returned.

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