Police shoot barricaded suspect who used woman as human shield

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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.



  • Steven

    @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

    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

  • Michelle

    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

    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.

  • Mike

    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

    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

    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

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

  • Larry

    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

    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

    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.

  • JimR

    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.

  • jb80538

    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

    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

    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.

  • Philip Natale

    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

    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

    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

    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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