Police shoot barricaded suspect who used woman as human shield

Posted on: 9:16 am, January 13, 2014, by , and , updated on: 10:01pm, January 13, 2014

hostageDENVER — A man who took a woman hostage at a Denver 7-Eleven Monday morning was shot by an officer, police said.

The incident started when police got a call about a suspicious person inside the store at West Colfax Avenue and Perry Street shortly before 9 a.m.

He took a female hostage, and there were employees and customers inside the store during the incident, said Denver Police Chief Robert White.

RAW VIDEO: Man takes woman hostage and uses her as human shield

Police negotiated with the man for about an hour before he came out with a female hostage.

The man used the woman as a shield, while police yelled at him to surrender.

“He then attempted to drag the female back in the store. Out of fear for the female’s safety, one of the officers fired one shot, striking the individual,” White said.

The suspect was apparently hit in the torso, and he was listed in critical condition at Denver Health Medical Center.

This woman, who refused to give her name, was taken hostage by a man at a Denver 7-Eleven.

This woman, who refused to give her name, was taken hostage by a man at a Denver 7-Eleven.

The hostage was not harmed.  Later in the afternoon the woman, who did not to give us her name, said she was glad she survived the incident unharmed.

“It was terrifying. It was stressful and I don’t wish it on my enemy,” she said.  “Everybody that’s concerned about me, I appreciate your thoughts and prayers.”

She said police did a “great job,” of handling the situation.

White said the man “indicated that he had a weapon,” but police did not confirm that.

A FOX31 Denver photographer was positioned across the street from the scene and recorded the shooting. In the video, the man can be seen standing behind the woman. He wore a grey hoodie and didn’t appear to say anything.

White said he was pleased that the situation ended without any officers or victims being hurt.

Cowell Elementary School, Lake International School, Strive Prep at the Lake Campus, Cheltenham Elementary and Colfax Elementary were all placed on a modified lockdown, Denver Public Schools said. The lockdown was lifted at 9:30 a.m.

Colfax was closed from Newton Street to west of Perry, and between 14th and 16th avenues, DPD said.


  • Joseph says:

    Colfax going West and East are both closed. If heading that way 14th st is a good alternative.

  • DaVida Cisneros says:

    Please God.with the people in the store my friend works there.

  • Steven says:

    Sounds like another gun-nut in action. God help them folks.

  • Steve says:

    Steven – sounds like ANOTHER CRIMINAL PERFORMING CRIMINAL ACTS – get a life!

  • Alpha Omega says:

    Steven, you’re an idiot. At this point your fear of inanimate objects is a sign that you’re mentally unstable. You should be on some heavy meds, because if you’re afraid of an inanimate object, you have problems.

  • Sabrina says:

    Why don’t these nut jobs kill themselves & call it a day, it’s getting old!!

  • Anastacia Nolan says:

    Sabrina. I agree!

  • Bryan says:

    Let’s bash on the police. After all they shot an armed gun man that had a hostage. TheY should have used harsh language or something.

  • MichaelS says:

    Guns dont kill people, Homicidal criminals with guns kill people.

  • clownrodeo says:

    Hey look another liberal, socialist, progressive democrat just like Homes and Lanza, good job Obama would be proud

  • JV says:

    Now, now… let’s be calm. I’m sure the perpetrator of that vile act was legally entitled to own and carry that firearm by state statute. I’m not so sure about the valiant, but down-trodden, hostage-taker, though. /sarcasm

  • Ferd says:

    Another Mexican.

  • Fast45 says:

    Maybe Hickenlooper, Flelds, and Hancock can help pass laws declaring convenience stores to be “gun-free zones.” That way, only the criminal will be allowed to have a weapon, and we can all feel safer.

  • Jason says:

    At what point in this story do they confirm that the criminal had a gun? I can see where it says “It was not clear whether the man was armed.”
    I guess to highly educated liberals that means he had a gun.

  • HotRod Polk says:

    You comment queens are idiots…The article never states the suspect had a gun. And in Denver Police double talk, that means he had nothing. If he were armed, they would have listed Brand, model and how many bullets were in the clip…

  • Alisha says:

    all that matters is all the ppl r safe that’s our neighbor. Hood syote

  • The arguments being made on both sides here are ridiculous and off topic, however the fact is gun control works. There is absolutely no statistical evidence to support the opinion that an armed general populous makes anyone safer (a well regulated militia may be a different story). Indeed, all evidence to the contrary. Even in Chicago, where gun violence was high under strict controls, it was even higher in the years prior to its implementation and has risen in the recent years since being struck down by the supreme court. There are plenty of arguments to be made in favor of gun rights, but making communities safer just isn’t one of them.

  • t.c says:

    dirty harry would luv this,and you did make my day,good job pd…

  • Mel says:

    Jon and Nikol: you are incorrect. And a “well-regulated militia” would have to be something the government had nothing to do with and free, armed citizens controlled. Go do some research before commenting, for goodness sake!

  • Dick Peabody says:

    Jon and Nikol, I second what Mel posted. You folks really do need to read up and become informed citizens. Maybe you could start with Dr. John Lott’s book, “More Guns, Less Crime.”

  • common sense says:

    Jon and Nikol I have a question, how come states and cities that implement
    concealed carry for its citizens have always seen a drop in violent crime? How come Switzerland has such low violent crime rates but citizens have to own firearms by law? Oh and yeah just shy of 500 murders is doing great for Chicago, a whole 180 less then the record high.that’s working great?

  • Switzerland actually has incredibly strict gun laws. Yes, most homes have rifles because of mandatory enlistment, but you can’t take fire arms out in public and very few people own hand guns.

    Chicago has had several years over 900. The worst was 970 in 1974.

  • chris says:

    Why was He there did He try to rob The place

  • Dan says:

    Too bad Yi was not the clerk. The A$$ would be good and dead.

  • Wilsey says:

    No gun: Walter gets 40% of 350,000. Another DPD blunder. Well the soda can looked like a gun.

  • t.l Robb says:

    well, gi ven that a; denver county is the only county in CO with a pesonal weapons defense ban, and 2; 7-11 doesnt allow their clerks to posseess weapons onsite, it seems like a wash. (at an independently owned c-store in another county, the dude would have very likely have been properly shot by an armed clerk, and saving the local sherriffs dept the expense of jailing him.

  • Sam says:

    God bless the officer who had to take the shot and thoughts and prayers with the hostage.

  • Wilsey says:

    He never had a gun. “Indicated”. What a lie to cover rear ends. “But he had a silver object” Coke can: 500,000 out of the Denver bank. Paul Childs: 25 feet away and gunned down holding a knife over his head. “Real threat”. 500,000 bucks. Pathetic, like Tom Martino’s producer saying he is QUITTING this week. Likely because the 911 tape is coming and the show gets flushed.

  • Heather Gwinn says:

    I am very grateful for the courage and skill demonstrated by our Police Officers involved in this incident, but I am compelled to express my disappointment in Fox 31 for running the video of the actual shooting of the individual. Not only one time, but three or four times. This news cast runs at 9 p.m. Had my child been watching at the time, I would be doing more than complaining on a blog.

  • Matt says:

    Too bad there wasn’t a brave citizen carrying concealed in the store at the time to take this guy out. Luckily the police took care of it, however it is unfortunate they didn’t go for the head shot :(

  • Keith says:

    Back and to the left…….

  • I love it!!! He dropped like a piece of garbage he is.

  • Steven says:

    @MichealS: “Guns dont kill people, Homicidal criminals with guns kill people.” yep, just like the Arapahoe High School shooter. Ole wait he didn’t have a criminal record or a mental health judgement to stop the gun sale, my bad.

  • mari says:

    He didn’t have a gun & was not holding up the store he didn’t have a weapon at all & the news is wrong he was not shot in the torso either know the story before you comment before you post a comment

  • T says:

    I’m surprised no one brought up the hoodie…..

  • Michelle says:

    I see no gun and there is no conformation that he had one. He was not robbing the store. He may have been running from the police. Looks like he is an unarmed, scared kid trying to keep from being shot by police after they surrounded him with guns.He was not dragging her back in the store when they took the shot. It’s not ok to shoot an unarmed person? Sad!!

  • Wilsey says:

    He had no gun, they knew it. Gerash for a 1/4 million in 6 weeks. “Brave citizen”? A chimpanzee could figure out he had nothing on him. 7-11 robbers pull out 9MM’s. White better have his facts straight about indicating he had a weapon or he’ll be part of the lawsuit.

  • LOGICAL. says:


  • Chris says:

    If a sniper took him out why didn’t he aim for the head. Would have made for a better YouTube video.

  • Mike says:

    Hey jon and nikol, you ever been to Switzerland? It’s pretty easy to own a long gun there, even paramilitary, and they are far less expensive than in the US. And as far as having them out in public there are shooting ranges everywhere outside the city. Handguns are more expensive but still available.

  • SloCatch says:

    I hope everyone gets to see the great artwork that is adorning Denver. Remember how much effort went into cleaning it all up for Obama during the convention?

  • Jon H says:

    It doesn’t matter if he had a gun if he indicated that he had one. Holding someone hostage and not giving yourself up to police when surrounded is enough to warrant a shot fired out of concern for the victims. Good job police.

  • EggMcMagnum says:

    John , Nikol and Steven,
    An armed society is a polite society

  • EggMcMagnum says:

    Chris the sniper went for the brain stem so that the punk would have the control of his motor skills taken out

  • Larry says:

    Great Job Denver P.D. by taken care of business before there are multiple victims! Get rid of the bad guy before he takes innocent lives!

    Michelle and Wilsey-He wasn’t there to buy a Big Gulp! He made some stupid decisions and suffered the consequences!
    If he lives, Hopefully he will think twice before doing something that will get him shot!

    He will always wear a knowledge scar as a reminder from the D.P.D.

  • Allen says:

    John and Nikol, again you are wrong. Switzerland allows private citizens to carry firearms outside their home and in public as long as they have obtained a permit. Oddly enough that’s the same way you can carry a gun in most places in the United States. Check your facts


    The Swiss have more gun ownership per capita than the United States, and also have a substantially lower murder rate, violent crime rate, and general crime rate per capita than the United States.

    I’m serious when I say this.
    You liberals need to educate yourself. I’m tired of hearing you all regurgitate false information you heard on msnbc. For the love of this great nation, PLEASE properly educate yourself in the real truth! You shouldn’t believe everything your tv and Facebook friends tell you.

  • Mike Land says:

    Legions of satan’s demons are biding for his organs. He his doomed to hell no matter what happens going forward in his life. Demons will win their bids and then devour his organs over the next 1000 years. His soul is lost, he’s lost, and he’s doomed to a lake of fire.

  • tee says:

    Wow Mr. Land, I thought I had a dark view on things!! Kind of makes eye for eye look painless!

  • JimR says:

    I’ve heard that having to take a shot like that rewires something in the brain. Something from that ‘moment’ will forever replay in your mind’s eye. Not necessarily the shot, not necessarily the sight of the shot, maybe not even the sight of the hostage running away unharmed… nobody will predict what it is however if I was able to influence it- Simply stated it would be “Thank you!” I’d shake your hand when telling you too! Peace be with you.

  • Arthur Kaske says:

    Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts and minds of people.

  • jb80538 says:

    Too bad the suspect survived to be taken to the hospital at taxpayer expense! One in the skull would have ended him swiftly! Glad the hostage is unharmed.

  • Conan says:

    What if, just what if, he did have a gun and told police he didn’t. He then comes out shoots the lady and then shoots an officer. Then what? When someone robs a place the intent is not to tell everyone i love you and have a nice day. Gun or no gun your intent is to do harm and police and the public have to act for the worse. Because we all know if the worse case happens everybody is then say “what the hell were the police doing.”. Then lawsuits come from everywhere. And I am tired beyond words every time this happens the person if given time and opportunity to release the hostages and surrender. But , the person doing the deed is always some how not at fault. None of this would have happened if the trash bag did not rob and threaten people. Period.

  • Bjarki says:

    Where’s the blood splatter? Where’s the sonic “crack” from a rifle round? I guess nobody here knows what a bean bag round fired from a shotgun sounds like.

  • Who cares if he had a gun or not? He had his hands on a victim. Hostage situations are a felony and he, by all means, threatened her life..He touched her. That’s all anyone needs to defend themselves to the fullest extent. She was unable to, so the police had to do it. Lesson is… Don’t put your hands on other people. BTW, why was he needing a hostage? What was he doing?

  • mike says:

    cops show up and someone is shot imagine that, the only gun that has been confirmed is the one the cops used, ban cops or take away their guns bunch of trigger happy bullies !

  • mike says:

    lol the lady is more terrified of the cops, she is telling the dude to back up, she would rather be in a store with the ‘hostage taker’ she must have realized where the REAL danger was….

  • Michelle says:

    Michelle is not an idiot. Michelle is a child of god and love. I am sad to see all of the hatred and disrespect for human life. I pray for you to find god. I am well educated and researched and I know better than to assume, like so many respondents have here. I don’t assume that he had had a gun or that he attempted robbery and through research I confirmed that he was being chased by the police into the store. . . “He dropped his coat,” said Dino Gallegos, who was exiting the store as Leroux ran in, “and the officer picked it up. The suspect ran around the corner and into 7-Eleven.” http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/front-range/denver/7-eleven-hostage-taking-suspect-identified-by-denver-police-as-blas-leroux
    He has been in the system since a young boy and the system is designed for his failure.
    I’m sure with his lengthy record in the worthless system he probably felt safer in full public view. You may need to turn up the volume louder so you can here that the hostage DOESN’T say, “I’m not going back in.” She DOES say, “I’m not going to back up.” or “They’re not going to back up.” He seemed to be hiding behind the woman for protection. He didn’t physically harm anyone. You can also clearly hear the female officer coaxing him out, “Come on sweetie, it’s ok, come on out, it’s ok”. If he had a gun than fine, you must shoot to kill, to protect the woman but don’t assume. The facts are: He was not trying to go back in. There is still no confirmation that he had a weapon. An unarmed man can be stopped in many other ways besides killing him. I am not saying he made a smart decision by not raising his arms and he definitely did wrong. I feel terrible for the “human shield” but if he was not armed he didn’t deserve to be murdered. There is too much justification of police using lethal force. As this tragic incident unfolded with full publicity, I am sad to hear so many in society rush to judgment or assume and not use a critical, unbiased assessments of the facts. Then again, the hate and ignorance that fueled such hateful commentators is why the white man controls the government in the first place. The Native Americans were slaughtered in even more tragic fashion. Yep, this liberal thinks advocating more guns is the most sick thought yet. To those who wish harm to me and my family for having different opinions and beliefs, I pray for you. You need more help and prayers than the scared soul that was shot.

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