LONGMONT, Colo. (CBS4) – Longmont police have taken a man into custody who they say blew up his hotel room using propane tanks. Leon Gladwell was out on parole after murdering his grandmother in 1998.
The situation started Thursday afternoon at 12:54 p.m. when law enforcement from several different agencies tried to contact Gladwell, 40, at the Residence Inn on Dry Creek Road in Longmont. Gladwell was living at the hotel. During the attempt, Gladwell was combative and uncooperative, and moved to his room. Officers left the hotel and obtained a warrant.
This is the scene at Residence Inn on Dry Creek Dr. in #Longmont. @LongmontPS have taken a man into custody who they say blew up his hotel room using propane tanks. Leon Gladwell, 40, was out on parole after murdering his grandmother in 1998. @CBSDenver https://t.co/kMZ0XsOyQb pic.twitter.com/Bu1df5tiZf
— Mekialaya White (@Mekialaya) September 25, 2020
Officers verified that Gladwell was still in his room, and attempted to talk him out. At 7:21 p.m., Gladwell detonated an explosive which created a fireball in the room. Fire sprinklers activated and two windows were blown out of the third floor room. The hotel was damaged extensively.
Officers tried to negotiate with Gladwell for the next hour.
At 8:45 p.m., Gladwell was seen in the blown out window with what officers believed was a propane tank. He was shot by an officer. Gladwell moved out of sight and did not come out. At 11:45 p.m., surveillance inside the hotel showed that Gladwell was incapacitated. At that time, officers took Gladwell into custody.
The officer who fired has been placed on administrative leave, per department policy, while the investigation continues.
Gladwell had recently completed a prison sentence for murdering his grandmother in 1998 in Boulder. He was out on parole.