By Jesse Sarles

THORNTON, Colo. (CBS4) – An extensive manhunt was being conducted in Thornton Friday after police tried unsuccessfully two times to capture a dangerous armed suspect. Officers fired their weapons at the man at one point.

thornton police manhunt

(credit: CBS)

Police said they are looking for a Hispanic male who is believed to be armed who was wearing a “black hat, black hoodie, white T-shirt, and blue jeans.” Anyone who sees a person matching that description is asked to call 911 immediately.

Police responded to 9700 Welby Road on a burglary or menacing call at 8:27 a.m. After arriving they saw the man and he pointed a handgun at them and ran. Officers ran after him, but he got into a car and drove away.

Police followed the car and it wound up crashing close to the intersection of 115th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard. At the crash scene officers tried to take the man into custody but he again pointed a gun at them and ran into a neighborhood. Officers fired shots at the suspect and it’s not known if they hit him. If they did, he couldn’t have been severely injured because he wound up stealing a Jeep and then driving away.

The Jeep was later found but the suspect is still on the loose as of 3 p.m.

Shortly after the crash authorities issued a code red alert and recommended sheltering in place for those in the area around where it happened. The shelter-in-place recommendation was lifted about two hours later. Colorado Boulevard was also shut down from 115th Avenue to 112th for several hours due to the investigation.

thornton police manhunt

(credit: CBS)

After the crash, Copter4 flew over the scene and spotted a K-9 team as well as numerous officers involved in the search for the suspect, some with rifles at the ready.

Early on, two schools in the area were placed in lockout status — Woodglenn Elementary School and Cherry Drive Elementary School. About two hours later those lockouts were lifted, but then another Thornton school also went on lockout mode for a time: Explore Elementary School. That school is nearly 3 miles away from 115th & Colorado. Police said the “vast crime spree by the suspect” involves several locations.

Jesse Sarles