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Oct 19, 2012 1:01 AM by Jacqui Heinrich, jheinrich@koaa.com

Neighbors witnessed argument moments before police standoff

A seven-hour standoff in northeast Colorado Springs ended Thursday night with one man dead. News 5 crews were there talking to neighbors who witnessed an argument between the deceased homeowner and young man believed to be his son just minutes before the man barricaded himself in his house.

That standoff ended in what police say was exactly what they hoped wouldn't happen. Around 1:00 Thursday afternoon, neighbors saw the now deceased homeowner arguing outside with a teenage male believed to be his son. Witnesses say the man was becoming aggressive and the younger man tried to retreat, looking frightened.

Minutes later someone called police reporting a domestic dispute at 3965 thundercloud drive; when officers arrived on scene the man refused to come out of his home, telling police he had a rifle and the home was rigged with explosives. Upon finding out from family members that his claims could be true-- the man worked as a welder an had access to explosive materials-- they evacuated the twelve surrounding homes, brought in the bomb squad and hostage negotiators.

After seven hours of talking with hostage negotiators, using concussion grenades and tear gas, the man didn't surrender. Bomb squad officers used a robot to figure out if it was safe to enter the house; when police finally went inside they found the man dead in a closet.

Police say the suicide may have had something to do with a pending divorce between the homeowners; officers had been called to the house in the past for domestic disputes.

Though two teenage sons and a wife are now left without their husband and father, police say the only success during the standoff was that nobody else was hurt and the community was protected during the investigation.

Police aren't releasing the victim's name until next-of-kin are all notified.

 

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