Fort Collins SWAT team takes woman armed with gun in parking lot into custody

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paulineFORT COLLINS, Colo. -- A woman was arrested Monday after an hourslong standoff in Fort Collins that began after police said she rammed her car into several parked cars in a strip mall parking lot.

It started just after 10 a.m. in the parking lot at South College Avenue and East Drake Drive. Police said 34-year old Pauline Amaniera pulled a gun as police approached her truck.

SWAT teams from Fort Collins Police Services and the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office were called to assist.  Negotiators contacted Amaniera by phone and attempted to persuade her to surrender voluntarily.

For several hours, Amaniera refused to comply and continued holding the gun to her head.

“Once a bullet leaves a firearm, it's going to go until it hits something so we were trying to make the perimeter as big as possible so everybody could be safe that might be in that area,” Fort Collins police Sgt. Dean Cunningham said.

Police shot chemicals through back window of pick up truck to end standoff in Fort Collins Kmart parking lot. December 7, 2015

Police shot chemicals through back window of pickup truck to end a standoff in a Fort Collins parking lot on Monday, Dec. 7, 2015.

Police then launched a chemical agent through the back window of the truck. Amaniera dropped the weapon and got out of the truck. The weapon was later determined to be an airsoft Glock handgun replica.

Officers took arrested her on felony charges of criminal mischief and domestic violence.

Amaniera also had outstanding no-bond warrants, including failure to comply, second-degree assault, failure to appear for cruelty to a child and failure to comply with bond conditions. She was booked into the Larimer County Jail.  She is facing additional charges.

Surrounding businesses were told by police to lock their doors and people inside were told to shelter in place during the standoff. Some businesses were allowed to evacuate people out back doors in order to keep everyone out of the line of fire.

Kyle Woods was opening Larkburger just a few feet away from where Amaniera was barricaded. He said police did a great job keeping the community safe.

“You guys aren’t allowed to be in the restaurant anymore. Windows aren’t safe,” he said police told him.

“As soon as SWAT got her and started sticking big guns out their windows and snipers getting on the roofs and stuff, we started realizing stuff was pretty real,” he said.

For the dozens of people impacted, thoughts moved to what the situation could have become.

“A mass shooting.  I mean you just never know what's going on.  It does kind of make you think like, 'Oh, little things now feel much bigger,' so it makes you a lot more careful,” witness Alexandra Manter said.

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