Aaron Williams dead, Grant Bletcher captured in separate Aurora hostage dramas

Categories: Colorado Crimes

aurora officer shot march 17 2011.JPG
9News
Update: We continue to learn more about the string of serious crimes in Aurora -- not just the officer-involved shooting that left Oleg Gidenko dead, but also separate hostage dramas. The first ended with the death of a man recently ID'd by Aurora Police as Aaron Williams, twenty. In the second, Grant Bletcher, 22, was captured alive thanks in part to the woman he'd held captive.

Williams allegedly took a family of four hostage after shooting an APD officer in the vicinity of East 16th Avenue and North Elmira Street. Get more details from our earlier coverage, on view below.

grant bletcher mug shot.jpg
Grant Bletcher.
Regarding Bletcher, he fled from police on Tuesday after the cops tried to arrest him on outstanding felony warrants for menacing and escape, according to a 9News report. He subsequently busted into the apartment of a sixty-year-old woman identified at this point only as Kathy. She says she managed to calm down the suspect after he spoke with his mother via cell phone, even serving him some casserole. With a nudge from her, he eventually surrendered to the SWAT team outside following a standoff of approximately four hours.

Below, see a 9News video of Kathy telling her tale, followed by our previous coverage of the Aaron Williams matter.

Update, 1:23 p.m. March 18: No one will be collecting the $5,000 reward offered for information leading to the capture of a man who allegedly shot an Aurora Police officer last night. That's because the man suspected of having pulled the trigger then allegedly took a family of four hostage in a nearby apartment building, precipitating a SWAT team standoff that ended with the hostages safe and the suspect dead.

According to an updated APD release on view below, cops were able to free the family, including two children younger than ten, as the suspect holed up in a bedroom. But a peaceful surrender never happened. In the end, the SWAT team launched a gas attack, prompting him to flee through a window with gun in hand -- at which point he was shot to death.

In addition, the APD reveals that the officer shot last night was hit by multiple bullet fragments rather than being shot more than once. Read on to get the rest of the details, followed by our earlier coverage.

Police Shooter Holds Family Hostage

Aurora, Colo. -- Last night, shortly after 8 p.m., a uniformed Aurora Police Officer was injured in an exchange of gunfire that lead to a man hunt and an eventual SWAT situation where the barricaded gunman was shot and killed shortly after 7 a.m. this morning.

The Officer initiated a traffic stop in the area of E 16th Ave and N Elmira St. During the traffic stop a male ran from the car and a foot pursuit ensued. During the foot pursuit, the suspect shot at the Officer. The Officer responded by shooting at the armed suspect.

The injured Officer was transported to a local hospital where he was treated and released. It was initially believed that the officer was shot multiple times. However, a medical examination revealed that the officer was struck by multiple bullet fragments as opposed to being shot multiple times.

An intensive manhunt was underway in the area. Phone contact was eventually established with the gunman. The approximate location of the gunman was determined to be in apartments in the 1500 block of Emporia. SWAT was then called out and set up in the area.

During the evacuations of the apartment building that the gunman was believed to be in, it was discovered that a family of four was being held hostage by the suspect. At which time officers were able to safely remove the unharmed family, including two children less than 10 years of age.

The gunman had barricaded himself in a back bedroom of this apartment. Negotiators were able to have phone conversations with the gunman. During those conversations, the gunman made statements indicating that he still had the gun and that he would shoot it out with the police. After the gunman failed to comply with orders to come out, gas was deployed into the room. The suspect exited the apartment through a window and had a handgun. At this point multiple officers fired and the suspect was killed.

Major Crime Unit (MCU) and Crime Scene Investigators (CSI) took over the scene and are conducting an investigation, including interviewing the family that was held hostage and other witnesses. Police are still trying to locate a red four door sedan, possibly a Toyota, with a temporary tag. Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Tom Wilson at (303)739-6711.

The deceased suspect is not being identified at this early stage of the investigation. Additionally, the hostage family, the Police Officer who was initially injured and other involved Officers are not being identified.

Original item, 6:41 a.m.: There's no better way to become a law-enforcement target than to wound a cop -- a realization that's no doubt struck a suspect in Aurora, who's the subject of an intensive manhunt at this writing.

The officer in question survived the incident, but the Aurora Police Department confirms that he was shot several times.

The shooting followed a traffic stop; the suspect fled on foot, leaving the officer to call in the incident after taking fire.

Here's an APD release describing the suspect and his vehicle, followed by 9News report about the crime, and an interactive graphic showing the area near where the shooting took place; if you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."

Aurora Police Department release:

Aurora Police are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the shooter.

Shooter is described as a Black male in his 20's, last seen wearing a black hoodie-style sweatshirt with red lettering, black jeans, black shoes, short hair. He is at large at this time.

The suspect vehicle is a newer red 4-door car with a temporary tag in the rear window.


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More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Jay Sheridan: Jackie Hasty charged in death of Limon officer killed by husband Dennis Hasty."



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20 comments
community counselor
community counselor

I got to know Aaron when he was a youth and have been thinking about him as a year has passed since he has left us.  What a talented young man who's life ended too early!  RIP Aaron, you are always thought about!

MOUSE
MOUSE

THAT YOUNG MAN WAS MY COUSIN WHO I LOVE DEARLY I MISS HIM AS ALMOST A YEAR IS APPROACHING THERE IS NO OTHER WAY TO FATHUM THE LOSE OF OURS TRULY. PLEASE DO NOT SAY ANY NEGATIVE THINGS BECAUSE THE TRUE STORY HAS YET TO SURFACE THE SOCIAL MEDIA. AARON ADUBB DUBB RIDAH WILLIAMS IS IN A BETTER PLACE AND OUR FAMILY IS HOLDING TOGETHER. 

Perciousreynolds
Perciousreynolds

I know him personally, everybody makes mistakes... buh those so called hostages were UNHARMED... Plz dnt believe wat the newspapers are saying uuggghhhh. at the end of the day THANKS TO THE POLICE YALL SET HIM FREE, YALL TOOK HIM WHR HE WANTED TO GO.....HE'S N A BETTER PLACE NOT HURTING BEHIND BARS... AURORA POLICE LIL DO YALL KNOW, YALL DID HIM A FAVOR. he wont ever have to worry anymore.......Luv you Rida N i'll be up there soon

TSM
TSM

I also knew the suspect. I was only able to spend a few months with him to get to know him and it still confuses me on why he made the decision he did. He seemed to have a good head on his shoulders. He got in some trouble before but he honestly looked like he was going to turn his life around and get involved with college and basketball. I am so sorry about the officer that was shot. I still wish I could understand what made him originally run from the vehicle and choose to do what he did.

Samurai6660
Samurai6660

I will truly miss this young man. He was SOOOOO talented beyond my words. I remember once having a conversation with him about not becoming a "statistic." - Danm. God bless his family as well as everyone else affected. BC-1

jodymoury
jodymoury

Over the next decade, the United States is facing a potential shortage of criminal justice and security professionals, Search for "United Forensic College"

reezyf
reezyf

i knew the suspect he was a good person he just put him self in a bad situation i dont care what anyone thinks of him he was sweet and kind.. he was just leading him self in the wrong direction he was never goin to hurt thoughs hostages every

solar_satellite
solar_satellite

Update: Aurora Police Execute Shooting Suspect as He Climbs out Window

-- what a surprise!

solar_satellite
solar_satellite

"There's no better way to become a law-enforcement target than to wound a cop -- a realization that's no doubt struck a suspect ..." -- there's an intimation here that this guy might be subject to summary execution. Many people would like to save the cost of incarcerating violent felons in this manner, but it would of course finish off any pretence that justice is being meted out by our criminal injustice system. Releasing everyone convicted of drug offenses who have not committed crimes against persons or property would save over a hundred billion dollars in direct and indirect costs annually.

Like virtually all crime reports in Denver, this one is missing important information. The officer who was shot presumably either identified the vehicle from its temporary tag or determined that the tag was invalid. In the former case the owner of the vehicle would have been identified -- if the shooter is not the owner, then the shooter is known to the owner or the car was stolen. I think that we can reasonably infer that even given the penchant of local police to withhold information arbitrarily, if Aurora police knew who the shooter was, they would have identified him. If I see a young black guy in a hoodie, I'll be sure to call the Aurora PD, but I hope that they have more information than that about the shooter.

counselor
counselor

I had the pleasure of working with this young man at a residential treatment facility. He moved in up in the level system faster than any other client that I've had an encounter with. Two weeks after discharging, he ended up in jail for accessory to robbery. I feel that sometime its the system that fail young men like him. He discharged from a facility without a plan and look at the result.

Teddy Ruxpin
Teddy Ruxpin

are you kidding "sweet and kind"? he shot a person,a human being,and than took a family of people hostage,there is nothing sweet or kind about this series of events.whether he was facing jail time or whatever,he should of owned up and gone down,one thing for sure,regardless of what his characteristic attributes may or may not have been,this wasn't a very thought out solution...soo if you ask me he's just plain FUCKEN STUPID!!!

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

We've updated our post with this new information. Thanks, Robert.

Maggie
Maggie

Thank you Robert for saying everything I was thinking and feeling! I particularly loved the phrase, "Criminal Injustice"...that's exactly how I see the Criminal Justice System as of late. So much so, that I started writing short stories to be posted online soon. I would love to have your input to add to this debacle of a system we are forced to accept.

Michael Roberts
Michael Roberts

Counselor, thanks for sharing your experiences. Very interesting.

canilive
canilive

Our last messages read.. Me: "What you doing?".. Ridah: "Nothing just tryna stay out the way". Although we all knew his motives weren't bad, the society we live in says they were. You didn't know him personally so I expect somebody to express their ignorance towards a dead man by calling him stupid. He's dead..have some fucking respect regardless of what you heard or want to believe..Oh and he was a human being also..

PRECIOUSREYNOLDS
PRECIOUSREYNOLDS

FUK YALL, YALL DNT KNOW HIM HIS LIFE OR NUN.... R.I.P HAHA FUK THE POLICE

Numberoneblackman
Numberoneblackman

No! Mr. Teddy are Fucking Stupid if you believe everything you read! I know this this situation from both sides! I work as a Colorado springs Police Officer for three years and had much interaction with surrounding agencies! I can tell as a Black Law officer that Colorado is one of the most racist states when it comes to the hispanic and black population!! Thats coming from someone who began his life and career in ALABAMA!! I also work as youth counselor and corrections officer, during that time I had the pleasure of Working with the young they killed! He was a good kid with a awesome heart! Yes he was wrong for his decisions during this time, but dont throw stones because you dont know him! There is always more to the story than what an officer puts to paper!!

solar_satellite
solar_satellite

Yes, but he was shot while climbing out a window -- was he executed, or was his killing necessary?

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