Denver police responded to a shooting in the 600 block of Inca Street and engaged in an hours-long standoff with a “possibly barricaded” suspect that included the use of chemical agents and a house fire until taking that person into custody around 6 p.m. Sunday.
Police said two male officers were shot prior to the standoff and transported to Denver Health Medical Center with “good prognoses.” A large police presence gathered around the area, which remained an active tactical situation for approximately four hours until police tweeted that they took the suspect into custody.
Denver firefighters remained on the scene putting out a fire at the location as of 6:01 p.m, Denver police tweeted.
UPDATE: Officers have taken one suspect into custody in the 600 block of Inca. @Denver_Fire is putting out a fire at the location. Area roads will reopen gradually, but the 600 block of Inca will remain closed. Investigation is ongoing. Thank you for your patience, #Denver.
— Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) January 28, 2019
Denver firefighters have been working at the scene with police since about 1:30 p.m., according to Capt. Greg Pixley of the Denver Fire Department.
A house in the 600 block of Inca caught fire around 5:30 p.m., Pixley said. Firefighters placed hoses in a location police could use them as the situation was ongoing and the suspect was not yet in custody. After the suspect was taken into custody, firefighters went into “defensive” operations, he said, trying to put out the fire through windows and doors to try and protect evidence for police.
The fire department could not confirm the cause of the fire until police finished their investigation, Pixley said, or that it was the suspect’s home.
Sixth Avenue remained closed at Interstate 25 from Santa Fe Drive to Inca Street, the Colorado Department of Transportation tweeted at 7:28 p.m. Drivers were advised to find an alternate route.
— Tomas Hoppough (@Tomas_Denver7) January 28, 2019
Police advised the public on Twitter to avoid the areas near Sixth and Seventh avenues, Santa Fe Drive and Galapago Street immediately after the shooting.
At 4:12 p.m., the department tweeted it would be “deploying a chemical agent in the 600 block of Inca.” Residents were advised to keep their doors and windows shut.
Several loud bangs were heard in the area around 5:10 p.m., with a strong, pungent smell cloaking the scene. Fire trucks arrived shortly after as flames could be seen coming from a house and smoke billowed throughout the area. Police could be seen escorting people out of the neighborhood, including a family with two small children.
Appears to be smoke billlowing near the corner of galapago and 6th pic.twitter.com/FCc7THeHAo
— Jackson Barnett (@JacksonWBarnett) January 28, 2019
Police initially responded to a report of shots fired in the area at 11:41 a.m., authorities said, and officers were fired upon at 1:29 p.m. The two officers who were shot were said to be in “fair condition” during a 4 p.m. news conference. One was described by police as a veteran and the other a new member.
In addition, a Denver Metro SWAT officer was injured in a traffic crash as the team was heading to the scene of the shooting, police said.
“A phone call you never want to receive,” Denver Police Department Chief Paul Pazen said. “That uniform represents our city” when officers are attacked.
Videos from the scene showed officers with guns drawn and officers could be heard talking through their loudspeakers.
Still an active scene near Inca and 8th. pic.twitter.com/AkQezTImET
— Saja Hindi (@BySajaHindi) January 27, 2019
Two officers injured to a call of shots fired and one SWAT officer Injuied in traffic crash enroute to scene
— Jackson Barnett (@JacksonWBarnett) January 27, 2019
Tyler Newlin, who lives in the neighborhood, got a call from his mom and rushed home to get his dogs out of his house. Newlin’s roommate Kyle Schroder said he has lived in the neighborhood for two years and has had to deal with crime constantly.
“I am kinda used to it at this point,” he said.
But seeing a line of police cars and having his eyes water from a chemical agent is new. He and Newlin were out of the house when the incident started, he said.
It has been nearly three months since the last time a Denver police officer was shot. In that instance, an officer was shot in the leg while helping treat a woman with a gunshot wound outside a residence in the 4800 block of West 10th Avenue, according to police spokesman Doug Schepman said.
Check back for updates on this breaking news story.