Aaron Williams dead, Grant Bletcher captured in separate Aurora hostage dramas
Update: We continue to learn more about the string of serious crimes in Aurora -- not just the officer-involved shooting that left Oleg Gidenko dead, but also separate hostage dramas. The first ended with the death of a man recently ID'd by Aurora Police as Aaron Williams, twenty. In the second, Grant Bletcher, 22, was captured alive thanks in part to the woman he'd held captive.
Williams allegedly took a family of four hostage after shooting an APD officer in the vicinity of East 16th Avenue and North Elmira Street. Get more details from our earlier coverage, on view below.
Regarding Bletcher, he fled from police on Tuesday after the cops tried to arrest him on outstanding felony warrants for menacing and escape, according to a 9News report. He subsequently busted into the apartment of a sixty-year-old woman identified at this point only as Kathy. She says she managed to calm down the suspect after he spoke with his mother via cell phone, even serving him some casserole. With a nudge from her, he eventually surrendered to the SWAT team outside following a standoff of approximately four hours.
Below, see a 9News video of Kathy telling her tale, followed by our previous coverage of the Aaron Williams matter.
Update, 1:23 p.m. March 18: No one will be collecting the $5,000 reward offered for information leading to the capture of a man who allegedly shot an Aurora Police officer last night. That's because the man suspected of having pulled the trigger then allegedly took a family of four hostage in a nearby apartment building, precipitating a SWAT team standoff that ended with the hostages safe and the suspect dead.
According to an updated APD release on view below, cops were able to free the family, including two children younger than ten, as the suspect holed up in a bedroom. But a peaceful surrender never happened. In the end, the SWAT team launched a gas attack, prompting him to flee through a window with gun in hand -- at which point he was shot to death.
In addition, the APD reveals that the officer shot last night was hit by multiple bullet fragments rather than being shot more than once. Read on to get the rest of the details, followed by our earlier coverage.
Police Shooter Holds Family Hostage
Aurora, Colo. -- Last night, shortly after 8 p.m., a uniformed Aurora Police Officer was injured in an exchange of gunfire that lead to a man hunt and an eventual SWAT situation where the barricaded gunman was shot and killed shortly after 7 a.m. this morning.
The Officer initiated a traffic stop in the area of E 16th Ave and N Elmira St. During the traffic stop a male ran from the car and a foot pursuit ensued. During the foot pursuit, the suspect shot at the Officer. The Officer responded by shooting at the armed suspect.
The injured Officer was transported to a local hospital where he was treated and released. It was initially believed that the officer was shot multiple times. However, a medical examination revealed that the officer was struck by multiple bullet fragments as opposed to being shot multiple times.
An intensive manhunt was underway in the area. Phone contact was eventually established with the gunman. The approximate location of the gunman was determined to be in apartments in the 1500 block of Emporia. SWAT was then called out and set up in the area.
During the evacuations of the apartment building that the gunman was believed to be in, it was discovered that a family of four was being held hostage by the suspect. At which time officers were able to safely remove the unharmed family, including two children less than 10 years of age.
The gunman had barricaded himself in a back bedroom of this apartment. Negotiators were able to have phone conversations with the gunman. During those conversations, the gunman made statements indicating that he still had the gun and that he would shoot it out with the police. After the gunman failed to comply with orders to come out, gas was deployed into the room. The suspect exited the apartment through a window and had a handgun. At this point multiple officers fired and the suspect was killed.
Major Crime Unit (MCU) and Crime Scene Investigators (CSI) took over the scene and are conducting an investigation, including interviewing the family that was held hostage and other witnesses. Police are still trying to locate a red four door sedan, possibly a Toyota, with a temporary tag. Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Tom Wilson at (303)739-6711.
The deceased suspect is not being identified at this early stage of the investigation. Additionally, the hostage family, the Police Officer who was initially injured and other involved Officers are not being identified.
Original item, 6:41 a.m.: There's no better way to become a law-enforcement target than to wound a cop -- a realization that's no doubt struck a suspect in Aurora, who's the subject of an intensive manhunt at this writing.
The officer in question survived the incident, but the Aurora Police Department confirms that he was shot several times.
The shooting followed a traffic stop; the suspect fled on foot, leaving the officer to call in the incident after taking fire.
Here's an APD release describing the suspect and his vehicle, followed by 9News report about the crime, and an interactive graphic showing the area near where the shooting took place; if you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."
Aurora Police Department release:
Aurora Police are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the shooter.
Shooter is described as a Black male in his 20's, last seen wearing a black hoodie-style sweatshirt with red lettering, black jeans, black shoes, short hair. He is at large at this time.
The suspect vehicle is a newer red 4-door car with a temporary tag in the rear window.
View Larger Map
More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Jay Sheridan: Jackie Hasty charged in death of Limon officer killed by husband Dennis Hasty."
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.