(DENVER) — The gunman accused of taking three hostages inside a Denver 7-Eleven convenience store before he was shot by police has been identified as 34-year-old Blas Leroux, according to the Denver Police Department.
Leroux barricaded himself inside the store for about an hour Monday morning before emerging with a female hostage and using her as a human shield. According to police, the woman is a bakery delivery person who was making her usual stop at the 7-Eleven.
After ignoring hostage negotiators’ demands for him to surrender, police said Leroux tried to pull the female hostage back into the store. That’s when a police officer fired, and the suspect went down.
“So out of fear for her safety…one of the officers fired a shot, striking an individual,” said Denver Police Department Chief Robert White.
The woman Leroux was holding hostage made a run for it and raced behind a SWAT team van, unharmed.
Police said they weren’t yet sure what the suspect’s intentions were inside the store or how the hostage taking evolved.
“We heard a loud bang,” said witness Anthony Flores, “and saw the guy’s face just go back, like if there was a car accident and whiplash. After that, he didn’t move at all.”
As of Tuesday morning, Leroux was listed in critical condition at a local hospital.
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