DENVER (CBS4)– The shooter who shot at police for several hours in the Capitol Hill neighborhood standoff in 2013 was sentenced Friday to 96 years in prison.
Shaun Michael Tobelmann was found guilty in March on seven counts of attempted first-degree murder, seven counts of first-degree assault on a peace officer, one count of third-degree assault and 23 counts of unlawful discharge of a firearm.
On Feb. 21, 2013 Tobelmann, 36, was involved in a domestic violence incident with his girlfriend, who called 911.
Police rushed to the residence near 12th and Grant and came under fire from Tobelmann, who had barricaded himself inside his 5th floor apartment.
Over the course of four hours he repeatedly fired rounds at the officers who were inside the apartment as well as officers patrolling the street below. These rounds included 25 shotgun rounds, 10 9mm rounds and five .357 Magnum rounds.
“The men involved in this were amazingly disciplined, extreme restraint to have a person shoot multiple times at my team and I’m proud of them,” said Denver Police Sgt. Randy Penn.
Although Tobelmann continued to shoot at the officers, none of them shot back. Instead they negotiated with Tobelmann until he surrendered.
Many of the SWAT officers came to Tobelmann’s sentencing on Friday to testify. They described how Tobelmann was firing through walls and doors with indifference to their lives.
Tobelmann’s mother testified that he suffers from alcoholism and was awakened from a drunken sleep and panicked.
“His actions that night, a 4-5 hour standoff and picking up various of the three weapons, and loading a shotgun multiple times and pumping it and firing it, speaks contrary to that,” said prosecutor Rebekah Melnick.
The judge said the community owes those officers a debt of gratitude. Prosecutors marveled that no one was killed.
“Truly these officers, both the ones that were named victims, the SWAT officers but also Denver Police Department as a whole really showed a lot of restraint and just true dedication to the community and the community’s safety,” said Melnick.
Tobelmann told the court he is sorry and takes responsibility for his actions.
His mother asked for leniency, telling the judge it is Mother’s Day weekend and as a mother, begged him not to put her son away for the rest of his life.
The judge could have sentenced him to 400 years in prison but said the punishment of 96 years fits the crime, noting that Tobelmann had no prior felony record.