(CBS4) – Aurora police have cleared the scene near Quincy Road after an extensive operation that started when a suspect barricaded himself inside an apartment. Police identified that suspect as 42-year-old Jeffrey Mitchell Moralez.
A shelter-in-place order was in effect early Tuesday morning while it was going on.
Police say they’d had contact with the suspect 24 times previously since June 24.
Aurora police detailed the numerous calls for service they received starting on Monday for the specific address on South Salida Way. The first was at around 1:15 p.m. when neighbors told police there was a man who needed mental health crisis resources.
An Aurora police officer and one clinician from the Aurora Mental Health Center responded, but Moralez refused service.
About six hours later, APD received two more calls about Moralez being disruptive and had a firearm strapped to his hip. Officers responded but did not engage with Moralez because he had not been involved in a crime.
At around 8:40 p.m., APD responded again after neighbors say Moralez harassed two people. About 20 minutes later, SWAT team members responded when police say Moralez pointed a rifle at an officer.
Four reverse 911 calls were made to residents in the area.
After failed negotiations, police say Moralez shot at officers and hit a SWAT vehicle called a BearCat that belongs to the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office.
“Multiple bullets struck the body and windshield of the BearCat causing significant damage to the windshield,” Aurora police stated in a news release on Tuesday evening.
Two Aurora police officers fired back, but did not directly hit Moralez. They say he suffered injuries from shrapnel.
At around 4 a.m., police were able to get the suspect in custody. They discovered what appeared to be an explosive device in the apartment. The bomb squad was called in, and it was determined the device wasn’t a real explosive device, but an object that was made to look like one.
Police released an undated photo of him after taking him into custody.
“Aurora police patrol, hostage negotiators, K-9 Unit and SWAT officers faced a very serious threat today for an extended period of time. Their professional and heroic actions likely spared our community from a greater tragedy. There’s not a doubt in my mind their actions saved lives today and prevented further damage. As always, we encourage anyone struggling with a crisis, to please reach out for help by calling our CRT or Colorado Crisis Services at 844-493-TALK (8255),” said Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson.