Murder parolee blows up room at Longmont Residence Inn; gets shot by police

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LONGMONT, Colo. (KDVR) — The Longmont Police Department says a man out on parole for murdering his grandmother in 1998, blew up his hotel room before being shot by police late Thursday night.

LPD said its CORE Unite, along with Colorado State Parole attempted to make contact with Leon Gladwell, 40, at Residence Inn, 1450 Dry Creek Dr. around 12:54 p.m. on Thursday.

Officers said they had information that Gladwell was afraid he was going to hurt someone. They were also informed he had knives and propane tanks in his room.

LPD said officers tried to talk with Gladwell near his room. During the conversation, they say he was angry, uncooperative and armed with several knives. The parole unit said they collected the knives and Gladwell moved to his room and refused to cooperate further. In an attempt to deescalate the situation, officers discontinued their contact and the Colorado State Parole obtained a
felony arrest warrant for Gladwell.

After verifying Gladwell was still in the room, officers, CORE and Longmont SWAT returned to the Residence Inn to arrest Gladwell on Thursday evening.

Gladwell refused requests to exit his room. At around 7:21 p.m., LPD said Gladwell detonated an unknown explosive device, which created a fireball in the room, activated the fire sprinklers and blew out two windows of the third floor room. This explosion caused extensive damage to the hotel, the room, endangered the lives of guests, hotel employees and officers.

LPD said officers continued to negotiate a surrender, but Gladwell refused to exit. At around 8:45 pm, Gladwell approached the blown out third floor window with was believed to be a propane tank, and was shot by a perimeter officer, according to a release on Friday morning.

Officers said Gladwell moved out of sight and continued to refuse to exit. At 11:45 pm., after continuous attempts to negotiate a surrender, surveillance determined Gladwell was incapacitated. Officers entered the room and took Gladwell into custody without further incident.

Gladwell was taken to a hospital with at least one gunshot wound, according to police. His condition has not been released.

Gladwell had served a 1998 prison sentence for murdering his grandmother in Boulder, and was recently released on parole.

The involved Longmont officer has been placed on administrative leave, per department policy, pending the outcome of the investigation.

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