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What began as a home burglary quickly escalated to a five-hour standoff with Aurora police, who on Sunday detailed the tense negotiations with two men who were holed up inside a veritable weapons cache.
About 6 p.m. Saturday, police were called to a house in the 300 block of South Western Avenue, according to a news release provided by Dan Ferrelli, a spokesman for the city of Aurora. Police first were called to the home after a 911 call from alert neighbors who explained two men got out of a gray Honda Accord and it looked like one of them kicked down a rear door to the house, he said.
Patrol officers found that Honda and held the two women found in it for questioning. They quickly realized the women weren’t telling the truth, as “their stories were not matching up,” Ferrelli said. At the same time, cops at the home on Western Avenue went to the rear door and saw a broken window, confirming the home had been broken into. Officers overheard two men inside and what sounded like the homeowner’s property being thrown around, Ferrelli said.
A communications worker was able to reach the homeowner who, Ferrelli said, “advised he had a large cache of loaded guns of all types and sizes inside the house that were unsecured.” That information, coupled with the fact that the burglars refused orders to exit, were enough for officials to call in a special response team, authorities said.
“For the next five hours, the suspects yelled threats at the officers, became increasingly irate, smashed out numerous widows, and pointed guns outside on multiple occasions,” Ferrelli wrote in a statement. At close to 11 p.m., one of the burglars pointed a shotgun directly at a group of officers and one of those officers shot at the burglar more than once, he said.
The shots missed and apparently hit a window frame, Ferrelli said.
Police also shot gas canisters into the house in an attempt to force the burglars out. Around 11:10 p.m. it worked and the men surrendered, but fought with arresting officers the entire time, officials said. The two men, ages 24 and 25 are currently being held under police guard at an Aurora hospital for treatment of multiple cuts to their hands, likely from smashing out the windows, police said.
The women, ages 22 and 23, also are being held for questioning at the Aurora Police Department, Ferrelli said. No police officers were injured in the course of the standoff.
It wasn’t immediately clear if the homeowner was able to return to the home or how extensively the home was damaged.