Denver officer shoots armed suspect holding a woman hostage

A Denver police officer shot a man who police said was armed and threatening a woman he was holding hostage.

The incident happened about 11:20 p.m. Friday in the 3500 block of York Street, Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas said at an news briefing posted on Twitter at 1:45 a.m. Saturday.

Thomas said the late-night shooting is connected to a Denver road rage incident. Officers responded about 5:30 p.m. Friday to a report of shots fired from inside one vehicle at another vehicle in the area of West Colfax Avenue and Interstate 25. The victim driver followed the suspect vehicle, as he talked on a cell phone with a police dispatcher, to the area of East 47th Avenue and Josephine Street. Officers arrived and did not find suspects, but did find the suspect vehicle parked and abandoned, Thomas said.

Police watched the truck and about 11 p.m. four people came out of a nearby residence and got into the vehicle. Officers pursued the vehicle, attempting to stop it, and the driver fled. Shots were fired from the truck at pursuing officers, Thomas said.

The truck crashed, during a “forced stop,” near East 35th Avenue and York Street, Thomas said. Officers surrounded the vehicle and a man, holding a woman, emerged from the truck.

Officers “believed” the man was armed, and “he was threatening to kill” the woman, Thomas said. Police ordered the man to release the woman and drop the weapon but he did not comply.

One officer fired one shot, hitting the man, Thomas said. The man and the woman dropped to the ground, with the suspect still holding the victim. Officers “negotiated” with the man, who did surrender. Both the suspect and the woman were taken to a hospital.

Thomas described the suspect as being in stable condition. The woman was treated for a leg injury, likely suffered in the crash or when she was pulled from the truck, Thomas said. Two other people, who had remained in the truck during the standoff, were also taken to hospital. All four were “in custody.”

Investigations into the road rage incident, the crash and hostage situation, and the police shooting are ongoing.

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