Exclusive: Lead police negotiator tells story of successful end to hostage crisis
The head of the Denver Police negotiators says the Radio Shack hostage standoff was intense, and everyone breathed a sigh of relief once they convinced both suspects to surrender.
Commander Ron Saunier spoke exclusively to FOX31 Denver’s Deborah Takahara just hours after his team negotiated a peaceful ending to the six-hour long ordeal. CDR Saunier said, “The outcome is what you always hope for. We wind up going home with nobody hurt, nobody killed.. nobody committing suicide.”
Denver police had a team of about 10 technicians, supervisors and negotiators trying to coax the suspects into releasing the hostage, 28-year-old Christopher Nimerfroh, and giving up.
CDR Saunier said, “Our goal is to make sure everyone goes home safe. We accomplished that today. This is what we`re trained for. I know the suspects expressed some concern we were going to shoot them, but when we get there, we’re going to do everything we can to resolve it in a manner like today was.”
Hostage situations in Denver are rare. But negotiators spend hours training, attending classes and preparing for every possible situation.
CDR Saunier said, “This was one of those times, at times it was sketchy communicating through the wall inside with him, to utilizing our equipment, pretty much we had on and off communication through the entire event.”
The negotiations were complicated by the fact that the suspect was posting on Facebook and calling friends and family members.
“One of our goals is in basic negotiating is take control of the scene and control communication going in and coming out, in this particular case, it made it harder with everything that was going on.”
In the end, negotiators got what they wanted.
But they aren’t taking all the credit. They said this was a true team effort. CDR Saunier said, “it`s a team effort by everyone. The district officers that responded did a phenomenal job, the swat officer, everyone that responded did a phenomenal job today.”
- Hickenlooper grants reprieve to death row inmate Nathan Dunlap
- Longmont officer shoots, critically wounds AR15-wielding gunman
- Warning: Video shows Colo. murder suspect Evan Ebel shoot deputy
- Mom makes bullying daughter wear thrift shop clothes as punishment
- I-70 reopens in Glenwood Canyon following fatal crash