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Don Pooley, dead hostage taker, celebrated shooting cops, posted about his doom

We're learning more about Don Pooley, who held a thirteen year old hostage in Arvada yesterday. A parolee with a long criminal history, Pooley appears to have been keenly aware of his own mortality: The profile pic on his Facebook page features a skeleton holding what's known as the dead man's hand. And his most recent share celebrated shooting police.

Instead, cops shot and killed Pooley after a standoff that lasted the better part of a day. Photos, video and details below.

According to USA Today, Pooley's rap sheet began in 1997, when he was still a teenager; he died at age 34. Items include forgery and eluding police, with the most recent, dating from last February, revolving around a charge of sneaking drugs into prison.

A Don Pooley selfie from his Facebook page.
A Don Pooley selfie from his Facebook page.

He was set free this past fall, but on January 10, notes 7News, he was officially listed as a parole absconder.

Here's the aforementioned Facebook profile pic. By the way, the dead man's hand is two pairs, with black aces over black eights. Folklore tells us that Wild Bill Hickock was holding this combination of cards when he was shot and killed in 1876.

Don Pooley, dead hostage taker, celebrated shooting cops, posted about his doom

And here's Pooley's last share, from Monday. As you can see, it's an article about the legalized shooting of police. It went up at about 11 a.m., mere hours before the start of the crisis that would end his life.

Don Pooley, dead hostage taker, celebrated shooting cops, posted about his doom

This link also appears on the Facebook page of Pooley's sister, with whom he spoke during the eighteen hours or so that he held the teen; 7News reports that the boy's first name is Connor. And Pooley is said to have reached out to a number of other people over this span, too, including members of the media.

What happened?

Continue for more about the police shooting of hostage taker Don Pooley, including photos and video.

 

This image from the scene, and those that follow, are culled from a 7News package below.
This image from the scene, and those that follow, are culled from a 7News package below.

Around 5:30 p.m. on Monday, police reportedly received a call about what was termed a domestic disturbance between Pooley and his thus-far-unidentified girlfriend. By the time cops arrived, however, Pooley had split -- but he didn't go far. He simply headed a few doors down from his place and busted into a house on the 6100 block of Gray Street.

Pooley then grabbed the teen -- the only one home at the time -- and threatened to shoot him.

Another image from the scene.
Another image from the scene.

At that point, the standoff began in earnest, with officers demanding that he let the boy go and surrender and Pooley refusing to cooperate while occasionally teetering on the edge of hysterics.

He also talked by phone to his sister and a friend, used the Internet, and apparently contacted media outlets such as the Denver Post

The paper points out that a man identifying himself as Pooley called and said, "I'm not going back to prison."

This prediction came true. Around 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Pooley went to the front door of the home to retrieve items left for him by authorities -- and a member of the SWAT contingent deployed at the residence shot and killed him.

The teen was rescued moments later. He was physically unharmed, although one can only imagine the psychological terror he endured.

Look below to see a larger version of Pooley's mug shot, followed by a 7News report.

Don Pooley.
Don Pooley.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our Colorado Crimes archive circa January 21: "Blas Leroux before being gunned down in hostage standoff: 'I'm not going to prison.'"


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