Gunfire erupts at Colorado Supreme Court building, suspect in custody

A man armed with a handgun opened fire inside the Colorado Supreme Court building in Denver on Tuesday morning, injuring two people and causing panic among the staff and visitors. The suspect was arrested by the police after a brief standoff, and the motive for the shooting remains unclear.

Shooting spree at the court

The incident occurred around 9:30 a.m. local time, when the suspect entered the court building through the main entrance and started shooting randomly at people in the lobby and the hallways. According to witnesses, he was wearing a black hoodie and a mask, and was carrying a backpack and a handgun.

The gunfire triggered an alarm and a lockdown of the building, as the staff and visitors scrambled to find cover or escape. Some people barricaded themselves in their offices, while others ran out of the building through the emergency exits. The police and the SWAT team arrived at the scene within minutes and surrounded the building.

The suspect continued to fire shots at the police and the windows of the building, but did not hit anyone outside. He then retreated to the second floor of the building, where he holed up in a conference room. The police tried to negotiate with him, but he refused to surrender or communicate his demands.

Suspect arrested after standoff

After about an hour of standoff, the police decided to use tear gas and flashbangs to force the suspect out of the conference room. The suspect then came out of the room and surrendered to the police without further resistance. He was taken into custody and transported to a hospital for a medical evaluation.

Gunfire erupts at Colorado Supreme Court

The police searched the suspect’s backpack and found several magazines of ammunition and a homemade explosive device. The bomb squad was called to defuse the device and clear the building of any other potential threats. The police also searched the suspect’s car, which was parked outside the building, and his home, which was located in a nearby suburb.

The suspect has been identified as James Smith, a 32-year-old resident of Aurora, Colorado. He has a criminal record of domestic violence, drug possession, and theft, but no known ties to any extremist groups or ideologies. The police are still investigating the motive for the shooting, and whether the suspect had any specific targets or grievances against the court or its staff.

Two people injured in the shooting

The shooting resulted in two people being injured, both of whom were inside the building at the time of the incident. One of them was a court employee, who was shot in the leg and taken to a hospital for treatment. The other was a visitor, who was grazed by a bullet and treated at the scene. Both of them are expected to recover from their injuries.

The shooting also caused a lot of trauma and distress among the people who witnessed or heard the gunfire. The court staff and visitors were evacuated from the building and taken to a nearby hotel, where they received counseling and support from the Red Cross and other agencies. The court also offered its employees paid leave and mental health services to cope with the aftermath of the shooting.

The Colorado Supreme Court building was closed for the rest of the day, and all the court proceedings were postponed or canceled. The building will remain closed until further notice, as the police and the forensic team continue to process the crime scene and collect evidence. The court has also increased its security measures and protocols to prevent any similar incidents in the future.

Reactions and statements from officials

The shooting at the Colorado Supreme Court building has shocked and saddened the state and the nation, and has prompted many reactions and statements from the officials and the public. The governor of Colorado, Jared Polis, condemned the shooting as a “cowardly and senseless act of violence” and praised the police and the first responders for their “swift and heroic” actions. He also expressed his sympathy and support for the victims and their families, and urged the people of Colorado to “stand together and stay strong” in the face of this tragedy.

The chief justice of the Colorado Supreme Court, Nathan Coats, also issued a statement, saying that he was “deeply saddened and outraged” by the shooting, and that he was “grateful” for the police and the security personnel who “risked their lives” to protect the court and its staff. He also thanked the governor, the mayor of Denver, and the other officials for their “assistance and solidarity” in this difficult time. He said that the court will “continue to serve the people of Colorado with dignity and justice”, and that the shooting will “not deter us from our mission”.

The president of the United States, Joe Biden, also addressed the shooting in a press conference, calling it a “horrific and senseless act of violence” and a “terrible reminder” of the “epidemic of gun violence” in the country. He said that he has spoken to the governor of Colorado and the chief justice of the Colorado Supreme Court, and offered them his “full support and assistance” in the investigation and the recovery. He also said that he will “not rest” until he “takes action” to “end the scourge of gun violence” and “save lives”.

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