DENVER (CBS4)– Police in Denver have arrested Justin McBride, the suspect accused of walking into the Pig & Sprout in downtown Denver on Sunday night with a rifle and holding restaurant employees and customers hostage at gunpoint. McBride, 45, is being held on investigation of false imprisonment and felony menacing.
According to police, McBride walked into the Pig & Sprout, located at 1900 Chestnut Place in Denver about 8:30 p.m. He carried a case with a rifle long gun into the restaurant. That’s when he walked over to the bar and took the rifle out of case.
At that time, the restaurant manager yelled at customers to leave the restaurant once he saw McBride with the gun.
As people were running out of the restaurant, McBride went upstairs, which prompted those seated upstairs to run into the employee locker room. McBride started drinking liquor and eating food on his way upstairs.
McBride then opened the locker room door and pointed the muzzle of his gun into the room. That’s when those hiding inside pushed the door closed and put items in front of it to keep him from coming inside.
McBride apparently tried to open the door with the door handle. After he tried to open the door, he started placing items in front of the door and indicated that he knew people were hiding inside.
Denver Metro SWAT and hostage negotiators rushed to the Pig & Sprout. McBride took multiple cellphones left behind by customers and used them to communicate with the hostage negotiators, but refused to cooperate with them. After refusing to surrender, SWAT entered the restaurant and arrested McBride.
What prompted McBride to enter the restaurant with a rifle is being investigated. Roads surrounding the restaurant were closed during the hostage situation, and RTD light rail lines were also disrupted.
“Chaos like this can happen anywhere, but it just hits home when it happens at places you’ve been to,” said Grant Lykins, a witness. “I was at that restaurant on my birthday in March and it’s just crazy to think that ‘wow, I was there and we had a good time’ … and this crazy stuff happened tonight.”
There are no reports of any serious injuries in the incident.