Suspect Dead After Police Pursuit That Closed Westbound I-70 From Washington To I-270 For Hours

October 3, 2019

Updated 5:18 p.m.

Westbound traffic on I-70 has reopened after police activity closed the highway down between the Washington Street and I-270 exits for several hours.

The Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office and Denver Police Department pursued an armed robbery suspect from Strasburg to Denver in the morning.

Jared Rowlison, the captain of investigation services for Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office, said officials responded to call from the victim who reported an armed man stole his wallet and car at a liquor store on the 1400 block of Main Street in Strasburg.

One of the deputies responding to the call noticed the stolen vehicle driving westbound on I-70 and tried to stop the car, Rowlison said. A pursuit ensued, and reached speeds of up to 100 mph at some points before the chase hit traffic close to downtown. Law enforcement stopped the car around I-70 and Washington.

Denver Police officers joined Arapahoe County Sheriff's officers as they tried and failed to get the suspect out of the vehicle.

"Some time later, officers and deputies heard a gunshot come from the vehicle," Denver Police technician Jay Casillas said. "When officers approached he vehicle, they observed the suspect with a gunshot wound that appeared to be self-inflicted."

Officers found a handgun inside the vehicle. The suspect was transferred to a hospital where he was found to be deceased, Casillas said.

Denver police will lead the death investigation.

While Casillas said "less lethal rounds" — including pepper ball and bean bag shots — were used to try and encourage the suspect to exit the vehicle, he believes no gunshots were fired by officers.