Authorities say the man who was shot to death by suburban Denver police after holding a 13-year-old boy hostage for nearly 18 hours had a criminal record and was wanted for a parole violation.
Officers fatally shot Don Pooley, 34, on Tuesday when he went to the door of the house he was barricaded in to retrieve unspecified items left by negotiators, Arvada police said.
Members of a SWAT team immediately rescued the boy. A Denver Post photo shows an officer carrying the teen away in a bear hug.
Arvada Police Chief Don Wick said the standoff began in the residential neighborhood north of Denver after police responded to a domestic dispute call involving a man and woman at 5:30 p.m. Monday. The man fled, then forced his way into a nearby home and took as a hostage the 13-year-old who was home alone, police said.
The boy’s mother and brother arrived a short time later but were not taken hostage.
Police negotiated with the man, and aware that he was watching media reports, released few details during the standoff, other than to say the hostage and suspect didn’t know each other. The suspect also called some media outlets with what police described as misinformation.
The Denver Post said the man and a friend called the newspaper Monday night but police asked that the content of the conversation not be reported. Police also asked local television stations at the scene not to air live footage of a SWAT team taking positions next to the house shortly before the standoff ended at about 11 a.m.
Dave Dewey’s granddaughter captured the rescue on video from their kitchen window. Overnight Dewey says police were also inside his home keeping watch and negotiating with the suspect. Police first made contact Pooley on Monday night after a problem inside his home down the street.
“As the police were arriving the male fled the house and entered another home,” Wick said.
“You wouldn’t want that to happen to anyone. It was just crazy it happened to them,” Dewey said.
Dewey said by mid-morning he watched police place audio and video inside the home. They exploded a device and then make their way inside.
“The SWAT team took a shot at the suspect, striking him and we were able to rescue the suspect,” Wick said.
Pooley’s sister was told her brother was shot and killed. She said she stayed on the phone with Pooley for hours and he told her he didn’t want to go back to prison because of outstanding warrants, so he ran into the home.
Pooley had been released on parole Oct. 2 but had been listed as “absconded” Jan. 10 after failing to meet with a parole officer, Colorado Department of Corrections spokesman Roger Hudson said. Hudson said a warrant had been issued for Pooley, but he did not immediately know when the warrant was issued.
State prison officials last year revamped procedures for monitoring parolees after a white supremacist gang member on parole slipped out of a monitoring ankle bracelet and was later tied to two slayings, including the March 19 death of corrections Executive Director Tom Clements. It took authorities six days to issue an arrest warrant for Evan Ebel, who died in a shootout with authorities in Texas.
Hudson said Pooley did not have an ankle monitor because he had been convicted of nonviolent crimes. Records show that Pooley pleaded guilty and was sentenced in 2008 to 10 years in prison for possession of a controlled substance and four years for vehicular eluding. His record also includes convictions for criminal trespass, escape and unreasonable noise.
Details of those convictions were not immediately available.