DENVER (AP) – A gunman opened fire Sunday afternoon at a Safeway Inc. distribution center, killing one person and injuring five others, including a police officer, before the shooter was killed.

Several fires were burning inside the estimated 1.3 million-square-foot building near Interstate 70, said Denver Fire Chief Larry Trujillo.

Safeway worker Jesus Lopez told KMGH-TV he was about 20 feet away from the gunman. “He was just shooting and lighting fires. He wanted to turn the building on fire,” Lopez said. “I just ran. Everybody just ran out.”

About 60 people who evacuated the building were waiting in two buses to hear whether they could re-enter the building, Regional Transportation District spokesman Scott Reed said.

“I’ve never been through anything like this,” said meat department employee Scott Stroman, in his second week on the job. He said the gunshots sounded like faint popping sounds from another part of the building.

“Other employees came running up and said “hey, let’s get out of here,”‘ Stroman said. Officers were already on the scene when he got outside.

Two shooting victims were in critical condition; two were in serious condition, including the officer shot in the leg by the suspect; and one was in fair condition, police spokesman Sonny Jackson said.

None of the victims was identified.

Jackson could not immediately confirm whether officers shot the suspect or whether he committed suicide. He also would not identify the suspect or say whether he worked for Safeway.

“We’re not going to speculate who shot who at this time,” Jackson said. “We are still clearing the building. We are still making sure everyone is safe.”

Police believed the shooter was the only suspect but were treating the scene as if there could be others.

Safeway officials did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

AP-ES-06-25-06 2202EDT

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