Winter Park police subdue armed man after standoff
Incident closes U.S. Highway 40 for nearly four hours Thursday evening
November 28, 2008
Winter Park — A three-hour standoff with a man apparently intent on committing “suicide by cop” closed U.S. Highway 40 near Winter Park Resort on Thursday and ended with the suspect in custody and no one hurt, according to the Fraser-Winter Park Police Department.
The incident began at about 11 a.m. Thursday when officers were notified that 52-year-old Brian Wilson of Denver was potentially suicidal, probably armed and perhaps headed for Grand County.
When Wilson used his debit card at the Granby 7-Eleven, officers confirmed he was in the area, said Glen Trainor, Fraser-Winter Park police chief.
At about 7:15 p.m., Wilson was spotted driving his Jeep Cherokee eastbound on Highway 40 near Winter Park Mountain Lodge. Officers stopped the vehicle and attempted to remove the suspect when he produced a .45 caliber handgun, according to a prepared police statement.
Officers retreated to safety at that point, Trainor said. They then closed the highway and began negotiating with Wilson, who told officers he intended to kill himself.
After about three hours of negotiations, Wilson got out of his vehicle and began walking toward officers holding his gun by the barrel and muttering something about “suicide by cop,” according to the police statement.
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When Wilson refused to put the gun on the ground after repeatedly being ordered to do so, an officer shot him with a single “bean bag” round from a shotgun, hitting him in the lower chest and knocking him to the ground.
Before officers could reach Wilson and subdue him, however, he regained control of his handgun and began shooting indiscriminately. Trainor said Wilson fired four rounds before officers reached him and pinned his wrists to the ground.
No one was hit by the gunfire, Trainor said, and no one was injured.
Trainor said Wilson has no known connections to the area and may in fact never have been here before. But, he said, family members who were in touch with the police indicated Wilson had mentioned he might come this way.
U.S. Highway 40 was closed for nearly four hours, Trainor said. It was reopened to traffic at about 11 p.m. Thursday, he said.
Wilson is being held in the Grand County Jail without bail on charges of first degree assault on a peace officer, felony menacing and prohibited use of a weapon, according to the police statement.
Trainor said authorities from the Granby Police Department, Colorado State Patrol, Grand County Sheriff’s Office and the East Grand Fire Protection District assisted at the scene.