A man was hospitalized Thursday after firing multiple bullets at officers and was later struck by an unmarked police vehicle, according to Longmont Police.
The incident began around 2:20 p.m. when a resident located a stolen vehicle in the alley near Fourth Avenue and Baker Street, according to a Longmont police news release. The person called 911 to report it.
When the police intervened, they discovered four occupants inside the vehicle. One of them, a man, fled from police, the statement said.
After police established a perimeter, an officer spotted the man in the 600 block of Baker Street. Police said when the man was located he fired several bullets at the officer as he ran north towards Longs Peak Avenue. Police said the officer did not return fire.
A second officer in an unmarked vehicle approached the man in the 100 block of Longs Peak Avenue and then activated his emergency lights. Police say the man then fired at least one bullet at that officer, hitting the driver’s side hood of the officer’s van. The man was then pinned down by the police officer’s van, the statement said. The policeman driving the van did not fire his weapon.
The statement said a paramedic from Longmont CORE arrived on the scene and began first aid within moments of the man’s arrest. An ambulance was also requested and the man was taken to hospital with injuries. Police said the man’s condition at 6.30pm was not known.
The statement said the officer driving the van has been placed on administrative leave, in accordance with Longmont Police Department policy.
While Longmont Police will be responsible for the criminal investigation, the 20th Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team will handle the use of force investigation. The multi-agency team investigates incidents in which a law enforcement officer from the 20th Judicial District uses deadly or life-threatening force against a person while acting under the guise of official law enforcement duties, according to the press release. The Longmont Police Department will not be involved in the use of force investigation.
The situation Thursday afternoon led to Columbine Elementary School, at 111 Longs Peak Ave., being placed under secure status around 2:45 p.m. The secure status was lifted around 4 p.m.
St. Vrain Valley School District spokesperson Kerri McDermid said no students or staff were injured. All extracurricular activities at school were canceled on Thursday.
Near the intersection of Longs Peak Avenue and Baker Street, police helped redirect traffic and provide information to parents trying to pick up their children after school around 3.30pm.
Crime scene tape was stretched along the west and south sides of the intersection, and officers moved throughout the area.
Shawn Dahlgren, who lives in the 700 block of Baker Street, stood outside watching the police activity on Thursday afternoon.
“I just heard the din, and I was like, ‘What’s going on over there? ‘” Dahlgren said.
Dahlgren said he was standing in his kitchen window washing his dishes around 2:30 p.m. when he heard a car screeching, then seconds later what sounded like a gunshot.
“I saw the ambulance coming, and it looked like they had loaded a guy,” Dahlgren said. “It looked like he didn’t even have any socks on.”
He added that he had lived in the area for about four years and had never seen an incident like this that blocked the streets.
Another neighbor, who declined to be named, stood outside in his yard and also watched the activity.
“By the time I walked up the stairs (from the basement), it was basically done — other than all the police cars in town driving by,” he said.
The statement said the 400 block of Baker Street north of Longs Peak Avenue and the 100 block of Longs Peak Avenue would be closed while the investigation continues.
The suspect’s weapon was recovered at the scene. On Thursday, police shared a photo of the gun and bullet in the unmarked police vehicle.
Police have asked anyone who witnessed the incident to call Detective Molly Gettman at 303-774-4720.
Journalist Annie Mehl contributed to this report.