Longmont police shoot parolee Leon Gladwell who reportedly detonated explosive in hotel

A Longmont police officer shot a parolee who reportedly detonated an explosive device in a hotel following a standoff Thursday night.

According to a release, Longmont police and state parole officers were called to the Residence Inn at 1450 Dry Creek Drive at 12:54 p.m. Thursday after receiving information that a guest, Leon Gladwell, might be a danger to himself and had knives and propane tanks in his room.

Gladwell, 40, is on parole after being sentenced to prison for murdering his grandmother in 1998.

When police arrived, officers said Gladwell was “angry, uncooperative and armed with several knives.” The knives were confiscated and Gladwell moved to his room and refused to cooperate further. In an attempt to deescalate the situation, officers left to get a felony arrest warrant for Gladwell.

Longmont SWAT returned to the address but Gladwell again refused to come out, and at 7:21 p.m. he set off an explosive device that “created a fireball in the room” and blew out two windows of the third floor room.

Officers continued to negotiate a surrender, but Gladwell refused to exit. At about 8:45 pm, Gladwell approached the blown-out third-floor window with what was believed to be a propane tank, and was shot by a perimeter officer.

Gladwell moved out of sight and continued to refuse to exit but 11:45 pm. police determined Gladwell was “incapacitated.”

Officers entered the room and took Gladwell into custody without further incident.

Gladwell was transported to an area hospital with at least one gunshot wound. Police did not say what condition he was transported in.

The officer who shot Gladwell was placed on paid administrative leave per department policy while a Boulder County shoot team investigates the incident.

The Boulder County Regional Bomb Squad will continue to be on scene investigating as well.

Gladwell was arrested as a 17-year-old in 1998 for beating his grandmother to death with a bicycle fork in Boulder. He was charged as an adult and pleaded guilty to an adult second-degree murder charge and was sentenced to 48 years in prison.

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