Friend Says Thornton Standoff Suspect Was ‘Out Of Character’
THORNTON, Colo. (CBS4) – A close friend of the suspect in a murder case that ended with a standoff in Thornton said the whole ordeal comes as a shock.
A man is dead after a shootout with police at a Thornton apartment complex in a case that included kidnapping and the murder of two women.
Authorities have not confirmed the identity of the man killed in the standoff but he is believed to be suspect 37-year-old Cimmeron Johns.
Charles Espinoza was a close friend of Johns and called the whole ordeal “out of character” for Johns.
“He loved his family you know. He loved his kids. That’s why I’m here. I just want to get a hold of them and see if they need anything,” said Espinoza.
Espinoza left a note at the apartment complex hoping to get answers about his best friend.
“I’m worried about his kids. I mean I don’t know what happened. I haven’t talked to him in a couple weeks, and everything seemed alright. They didn’t have any problems that I knew of,” said Espinoza.
Authorities however, paint a different picture about Johns’ relationship with his wife, Alisha Johns.
“They were involved in a domestic disturbance about two weeks ago where the female suffered severe injuries and was treated at a local hospital,” said Weld County Sheriff spokesman Steve Reams.
Deputies said Alisha did not cooperate with officers in that case and a background check revealed that Johns has two other incidents of domestic violence on his record.
Deputies said the couple separated after the ordeal but on Thursday night Alisha went to Johns’ Frederick home to visit her husband.
Her mother, Sherri Pachello got worried and picked up her daughter.
According to Johns’ aunt the couple was married for about 19 years and had four children together.
“He was a good guy. I don’t understand why everyone is thinking he’s an animal and he wasn’t. He loved his family,” said Espinoza.
Witnesses said they saw Johns chase after Pachello and her daughter who were later both found dead in Weld County on Friday.
A few hours later Pachello’s vehicle was spotted at a Thornton apartment complex with Johns suspected to be barricaded inside one of the buildings.
It was there he allegedly exchanged gunfire with officers.
“I was here by myself and had to call my husband because I was pretty nervous about what was going on. Then all of a sudden, my husband was out here, and a couple minutes later I guess shots were fired and that’s when they evacuated us,” said neighbor Maria Cardenas.
Espinoza said he’s worried about the children who are now left without a father, mother and grandmother.
“I think I owe it to him to at least help his children out. Anything I can do you know,” said Espinoza.
Authorities have not confirmed if the man found dead took his own life or was killed in the shootout.