Denver School Standoff Over; Suspects in Custody

A bomb squad was called to Noel Middle School after the suspects were seen on surveillance carrying backpacks into the school.
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A standoff at a Denver middle school has ended with the arrest of two teenage suspects.

Police and SWAT swarmed the school for close to five hours after a janitor reported seeing two armed males break into Rachel B. Noel Middle School just after 10 p.m. Monday night. The building was unoccupied at the time.

A bomb squad was also called to the scene after surveillance revealed that the suspects were carrying rifles and a backpack. A reverse 911 call was sent out to the surrounding neighborhood, advising residents to stay indoors.

Police tried to coax the suspects out of the school for a couple of hours, using the school's public address system to speak to them. After the suspects refused to come out, SWAT was sent in.

"After a 'cat-and-mouse game' for about two or three additional hours, we did apprehend the individuals," Denver Police Chief Robert White said.

"It's a relatively large school, so as we search one location, we didn't see them, so we searched another location, didn't see them, and eventually we caught up with them and were able to convince them to turn themselves in," White explained when asked to elaborate.

White said the suspects surrendered without incident.

The suspects were empty-handed when they were taken into custody, so police spent another hour searching for the backpacks and weapons before recovering both.

Denver police say the guns were "assault style BB Guns" and the backpacks contained items the suspects allegedly trying to steal.

Several classrooms were also ransacked.

"Preliminarily, the intent appears to be a burglary," White said.

Police believe the suspects may have been behind an earlier attempted break-in at a nearby elementary school, and are working to find out if there are any other schools involved.

Noel Middle School, located in northeast Denver, shares a campus with a high school. The suspects, both 15, are not believed to be students at either school.