A standoff that stretched across two days in Greenwood Village and included the suspect firing shots at police came to a peaceful resolution Thursday morning.
Police say it all started when a man allegedly stole two belts and a shirt from Walmart.
According to police, just after 1:30 p.m. Wednesday there was a shoplifting reported at a Walmart on East Hampden in Aurora. The suspect fled in a vehicle to a light rail station where he ditched the vehicle and was seen with a gun. Police attempted to chase the suspect but were unsuccessful in apprehending him.
The suspect somehow made his way to Greenwood Village where he entered a random home with a 9-year-old boy inside. The boy managed to call 911, safely leave the home and was reunited with his mother.
“It was that awkward confrontation that you recognize someone is in your home that doesn’t belong there,” Greenwood Village Police Chief John Jackson said. “A series of phone calls to 911 and the mother — they advised him to leave, at which time he did, and he’s perfectly fine.”
The man, who was identified as Robert Jonathon Seacat, 33, of Denver, barricaded himself inside a house at approximately 2 p.m. on Wednesday. The home is located at 4200 block of South Alton Street near Interstate 225 and Yosemite.
Police said Seacat had access to weapons, and CBS4 cameras were rolling as he allegedly shot at officers Wednesday night.
Several different tactics were used by police to try to get the man out, including using a robot, explosives and chemicals.
“After several hours of negotiations, members of Greenwood Village Police Department Emergency Response Team entered the home, and the suspect fired multiple gunshots at the officers,” police said in a statement released Thursday afternoon.
The situation was lasting so long that some of the SWAT and other police officers at the scene were being relieved by different personnel in the morning on Thursday just after daybreak. Multiple police agencies were working on the case.
“At 8:52 a.m. … officers and deputies entered the home again and safely removed the suspect from the home.”
Just before 9 a.m. on Thursday police told CBS4 the man was taken into custody and transported to a medical facility. It wasn’t immediately clear what his condition was. No police officers or anyone else was hurt in the situation.
Seven homes that were evacuated as a precaution after the standoff started remained evacuated Thursday morning but the evacuations were lifted after the suspect’s apprehension.
Kathryn Farrow lives next door and was evacuated by police. “We could hear the bombs go off so we figured that there would be a lot of damage because we could hear it shake six houses down,” Farrow said. “I think they needed to do what they needed to do because he was armed and not going to come out peacefully, and there were weapons in the house. They’re pretty shaken up but grateful that they’re son is okay and all the support in the neighborhood.”
While CBS made no mention of the damage to the home, other sites have added pictures that clearly show damage that seems extreme for a one-man standoff.
It’s likely that some of those holes in the house were windows. Why not just lob smoke bombs in through each of them and leave the house in tact?
You can click here to watch a video clip of the homeowner being interviewed by ABC of Denver. In it there is obviously much more damage than shown in CBS’ pictures above, and there is a conversation with a neighbor who states that the police drove a tank through their fences. Yes, a tank, for a one-man stand-off.
“They methodically fired explosives into every room in this house in order to extract one person,” Lech stated. “Granted, he had a handgun, but against 100 officers? You know, the proper thing to do would be to evacuate these homes around here, ensure the safety of the homeowners around here, fire some tear gas through the windows. If that didn’t work, you have 50 SWAT officers with body armor break down the door.”
Police explained the extraordinary event required extraordinary measures, but Lech was upset the City didn’t immediately agree to cover the damage.
“There are things in there that can’t be replaced,” Lech added. “You’ve destroyed a family’s life for nothing, absolutely nothing, due to poor decision making on the part of government officials.”
According to CBS, Lech’s homeowner’s insurance may not cover the damage because of a clause that exempts “incompetent government” acts.
Agreed, that was very poor decision making and could have been handled so much better.