Nov 8, 2010 1:06 PM by Ariel Mata and Andy Koen

Updated: Standoff suspect in critical condition

The man accused of setting his house on fire during a stand off in northern El Paso County is listed in critical condition at the University of Colorado Hospital in Denver.

According to deputies with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, William Anthony Gooch threatened to kill himself during a 3 and a half hour standoff, at a home in Elbert owned by his estranged wife.

Sheriff's deputies say at 11:15 p.m. Mrs. Gooch called to report that there was a prowler on the property.  As deputies were en route, she called again and identified the man as her estranged husband and reported that he had crashed his SUV into the home at 16520 Great Smokey Avenue.

When the deputies arrived, they found Gooch outside, armed with a shotgun.  He refused to cooperate and tried to start the porch on fire. He then barricaded himself inside.

The SWAT Team and Crisis Negotiation Unit responded. At one point, during a conversation with deputies on the phone, Gooch said "it's time to die."

The Colorado Springs Bomb Squad was called to send a robot into the home. Gas was also diffused inside.

At some point he managed to start the house on fire from inside.  Then, just before 2:30 a.m., Gooch jumped out of an upper story window holding a gun.

Deputies used a taser to subdue him and at least one round from the shotgun was fired into the ground.

Gooch was flown to Memorial Hospital and then transfered to the University of Colorado Hospital Burn Center.

He faces charges of felony arson, menacing and failure to leave the premises. The couple had filed for divorce on November 2.  She had placed a restraining order on him in January of 2008 after he was arrested in June of 2007 for domestic abuse.

Gooch as was charged with a misdemeanor in August of 2009 following a stand off at the same residence.

The home was fully engulfed from the fire and is considered a total loss. Due to the large amount of traffic at the scene, the intersection at Meridian and Hodgen Road was closed for number of hours overnight.

  • Story Photo
    Paramedics attend to Anthony Gooch, 50 following stand off
  • Story Photo
    Hodgen Rd and Meridian Rd closed during stand off
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  • Story Thumbnail


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