Denver road rage shooting leads to hostage situation, officer shooting suspect in complex late-night scene

Suspect in 'stable' condition; hostage uninjured in shooting, in custody
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Posted at 10:16 AM, Aug 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-26 12:33:45-04

DENVER — A vehicle suspected of being involved in a road rage shooting led Denver police on a chase where it ended in a crash and a police shooting amid a hostage standoff Friday night.

The driver and alleged hostage-taker was shot and wounded by police. The female hostage was not struck by gunfire but sustained injuries during the crash near E. 35th Avenue and York Street. No officers were injured in the shooting that occurred around 11:20 p.m.

Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas said the incident began as a road rage shooting near W. Colfax Avenue and Interstate 25 earlier in the day on Friday. The victim in that shooting was not injured and followed the suspect’s car to E. 47th Avenue and Josephine Street while on the phone with police.

“When officers ultimately arrived in the vicinity of 47th and Josephine, they were unable to locate the suspect or the suspect vehicle initially, but they did ultimately find the suspect vehicle parked and abandoned and the 4700 block of Josephine,” Thomas said during a press conference.

Road rage shooting leads to hostage situation, officer shooting suspect in complex late-night scene

Thomas said police surveilled the vehicle for several hours until around 11 p.m. when police saw the suspects leave a home and get into the vehicle. When officers attempted to stop the car, the suspects led police on a brief chase, during which the suspects fired at officers, Thomas said.

“They continued their pursuit, ultimately attempted a couple of four-stop methods, ultimately being successful in getting the vehicle to crash in the 3500 block of York. After the vehicle crashed, officers surrounded the vehicle at a safe distance and began issuing commands for the individuals inside to show their hands and surrender,” Thomas said.

During negotiations, Thomas said a man got out of the crashed vehicle, which was laying on its side, and was holding a woman at gunpoint. Officers ordered the suspect to release the hostage and drop the weapon, but he did not comply, according to the chief.

“At one point, a single officer did fire a single shot, striking the suspect both the suspect and the female did go down. But the male party did not release control of the female. So, negotiations continued to try to get them to surrender. Ultimately, they were able to secure both individuals safely and get them to safety. The male party was transported to the hospital and is currently in stable condition.”

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Thomas said the suspect is listed in “stable” condition at the hospital. The female hostage sustained cuts to her leg that the chief believes were caused by the crash. Two other individuals in the car were taken into custody.

Thomas said they are working to determine what, if any, involvement they have in the alleged road rage shooting.

“There are four people currently in custody. We have to do some further investigation to determine exactly who is a suspect. We know there are four occupants. We do know that there's one person who apparently was armed with a weapon and was threatening, holding someone hostage,” he said.

The names of those involved have not been released.

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