Blas Leroux before being gunned down in hostage standoff: "I'm not going to prison"
Blas Leroux, the 34-year-old man shot by Denver cops during a hostage standoff at a 7-Eleven last week, has died -- and according to his parents, he favored this fate over the alternative.
Big photos, video below.
He made one last phone call to them moments before being hit by police gunfire, and during that conversation, he reportedly said, "I'm not going to prison for the rest of my life."
Photos, video and details below.
Here's the first tweet from the Denver Police Department about the hostage situation, sent out at 8:53 a.m. on January 13 -- about twenty minutes after the first call:
#BREAKING: PIO responding to possible hostage situation at Colfax & Perry.— Denver Police Dept (@DenverPolice) January 13, 2014
Shortly thereafter, the DPD shared this image from the scene:
As streets were closed in the immediate vicinity of Colfax and Perry, snarling traffic well beyond the immediate location, police personnel tried to negotiate with Leroux, who was holding as many as three hostages after having fled from a police officer during a foot chase.
Information remains scarce about what kicked off the confrontation. But as noted by 7News, Leroux had a lengthy criminal record, with beefs including trespassing, motor vehicle theft, assault, burglary, child abuse, escape and harassment.
A 7News image from the scene.
After years behind bars, he'd been given his freedom just three months earlier -- and amid his final phone conversation with his mom, Michelle Romero Leroux, and stepfather, Jim Solano, he made it clear he had no intention of returning to prison.
Leroux didn't comply with repeated requests by DPD personnel to release his hostages. When at last he emerged from the store, after about an hour or so, he's said to have used one of them, a woman, as a human shield. But an officer managed to get off a shot anyhow, striking Leroux and leaving him in critical condition. He remained hospitalized until his death from a gunshot wound at 10:36 p.m. on December 17, the Denver coroner's office reveals.
In the aftermath.
The shooting is under review, as is standard procedure for all incidents of this type, and the question of whether or not Leroux was armed will no doubt be central to the analysis. Leroux's parents say he didn't have a gun -- a claim the DPD has yet to either confirm or definitively refute.
Look below to see a larger version of Leroux's mug shot and 7News coverage about the incident and Leroux's death.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
More from our News archive circa September 2013: "Video: Fourth recent officer-involved shooting targets burglar at detective's home."