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Suspect identified in Denver hostage situation

7:54 PM, Jan 14, 2014   |    comments
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DENVER - Denver Police say they shot and critically a wounded a man who tried to use a woman as a human shield while trying to escape from a 7-Eleven convenience store.

It happened off West Colfax Avenue in the 1400 block of Perry Street on Monday.

On Tuesday, police identified the suspect as 34-year-old Blas Leroux.

According to Denver Police Chief Robert White, police first arrived on the scene around 8:30 a.m., after receiving a call about a suspicious individual.

Officers found Leroux inside and he was holding two people hostage. After negotiating with Leroux for about an hour, police were able to get Leroux outside. However, Leroux was holding a woman in front of him, like a shield.

When Leroux refused to release the woman, he started to drag her back into the 7-Eleven with him.

At that point, a Denver Police officer fired a shot, striking Leroux. He was taken to a local hospital and is in critical condition.

Both victims are safe.

Like it is most Monday mornings, the 7-Eleven drew a crowd.

"Colfax was closed, so we went around and saw the different sirens," said one customer.

But a full-sized police response had even more wondering what was going on. Those close enough to the store saw for themselves.

"The guy had come out with the lady in front of him," Anthony Flores said.

Flores said he witnessed the shooting.

He described seeing Leroux holding the the hostage at the waist in front of the store

"He was tugging on her and the next thing you know, the SWAT team just shot," Flores said.

There were three hostages inside the 7-Eleven, two employees and a customer. During that time, one managed to escape but two were still trapped.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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