A Colorado woman has been arrested on suspicion of two counts of first-degree murder after her two children, ages 11 and 18, were fatally stabbed last week, authorities said.
The incident occurred in the city of Glenwood Springs in western Colorado on Thursday afternoon. Around 2:30 p.m. local time, officers were notified of a reported stabbing at an apartment complex, the Glenwood Spring Police Department said in a statement.
Officers arrived on the scene to find “two victims suffering from significant injuries,” as well as an adult female being restrained by an uninvolved bystander. Responding officers were told the restrained woman, identified as 37-year-old Claudia Camacho Duenas, was responsible for the injuries to the two victims.
Duenas was arrested with incident, authorities said. They added the two victims were taken to a nearby hospital and were given “extensive lifesaving efforts provided by medical professionals,” but they “succumbed to their injuries.”
Upon further investigation, authorities said they discovered Duenas was the biological mother of the two victims, an 11-year-old female and an 18-year-old male. The incident began inside an apartment unit and escalated into the complex’s parking lot.
“We think the initial stabbing with the first child happened inside the apartment with a female who was 11-years-old. Then she was trying to get away and then the second stabbing occurred with the 18-year-old male. Both of those were her children,” police chief Joseph Deras told USA TODAY. “They had another situation where the mother continued to stab both these children.”
Deras added the bystander who restrained Duenas was a neighbor driving out of the parking lot who saw the incident unfold. The neighbor held Duenas “with a bear hug” until officers arrived.
“This has had a significant or profound impact on the first responders that have gone there. Some of them were really struggling with what they saw and what they had to deal with, which is an unforeseen tragedy,” Deras said.
Duenas is currently being held in the Garfield County Jail on two counts of felony first-degree murder, according to jail records. Deras said the incident is “uncharacteristic for our community” as they rarely have instances of violent crimes.
“When you have a mother who’s charged with killing two of her young children, I mean it’s really, really disturbing and just unacceptable,” he said. “Our entire community-at-large is really upset about this.”
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