Jul 31, 2011 12:56 AM by Matt Stafford

Local murder suspect dies during stand off with police

It was a deadly end for 24-year old Michael Arangio, who was accused of murdering three Colorado Springs teens Wednesday night. He had been on the run ever since.

After a five hour stand off with police at a Colorado Springs apartment Saturday, police say Arangio took his own life.

He's accused of shooting and killing three teens -- two brothers, 16-year-old Aaron and 19-year-old Wayne Fix along with their friend Austin Howse -- on Mira Loma Circle and Montebello Drive around 10 p.m. Wednesday.

Police named Arangio as a suspect in the murders Thursday evening. He had lived in the area near the shooting.

Arangio was known to have an affinity for guns; he had been in court earlier in the day Wednesday for a charge related to pulling a gun at a church official. Arangio had denied the charge. In the court records investigators, make note of how much Arangio spoke of all the guns he and his father owned.

Police considered Arangio armed and very dangerous.

The SUV Arangio was believed to be driving was found off of Mount Herman Road Friday, but it was a tip from Arangio's parents that led police to him at the apartment on Whistler Point.

After a close to five-hour stand off, police delivered the news.

"He is deceased due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound," Sgt. David Edmondson with C.S.P.D. Tells local media.

Police had been there since just before noon. They were keeping everyone back while trying to get Arangio out, but he wouldn't budge.

People were starting to gather; some were neighbors who couldn't get to their homes, but the group included Judy Hernandez, the great aunt of Aaron and Wayne Fix.

"I guess maybe I feel like I can be closer to them right now than I can anywhere else," Hernandez tells News First 5. She was there for much of the afternoon.

Police threw in tear gas as well as used a robot to go in the apartment, but they eventually found Arangio dead.

Things came to a close early evening as the coroner was called in around Five.; it wasn't the outcome police say they expected.

"It's sad that it's resolved this way; that this person is not taken into custody to have an opportunity to get in front of trial, but at the same time that was a choice he made," says Sgt. Edmondson.

As for Hernandez, the outcome is tough for her to put into words.

"I have very mixed emotions on it: I want, wanted, them to get him before he hurt anyone else, but part of me wants him to have to face a family," Hernandez says.

That's not the end of the investigation into Wednesday night's triple-murder; police say they'll continue to look into what happened, trying to bring the affected families some answers.

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