An armed gunman is accused of stealing multiple vehicles and pointing a weapon at civilians during a two-hour crime spree that terrorized a Colorado tourist destination, police say.
According to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, the flurry of crimes began at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, when a sheriff's deputy stopped a white Ford Crown Victoria on Lookout Mountain, west of Golden, Colorado.
The vehicle's occupants, a man and a young woman, were acting suspiciously and the car they were driving -- a look-alike unmarked police vehicle -- sped off when the deputy attempted to check the driver's identification, police said.
The sheriff's deputy chose not to pursue the vehicle along the mountain, which is a mecca for tourists seeking its nature trails and William "Buffalo Bill" Cody's gravesite.
Roughly 30 minutes after the couple's initial police interaction, authorities say they ditched the Crown Victoria and carjacked a Subaru Outback at gunpoint near Lookout Mountain Park. The victims reportedly told police the male suspect was armed with an assault rifle and a handgun.
At about 4 p.m., a sheriff's deputy reported hearing shots fired. Police have yet to confirm the report, but have said it surfaced at about the same time the couple allegedly broke into a home near Mount Vernon Country Club and stole a truck, which they crashed a short distance away.
Following the crash, the couple got separated and the female suspect was taken into custody.
Shortly thereafter, KDVR.com's "SkyFOX" helicopter arrived on the scene. Video recorded by the news station's onboard crew captured the male suspect roaming through the woods and then apparently attempting, unsuccessfully, to steal a dump truck from a highway maintenance facility.
The helicopter continued its pursuit of the gunman and at about 4:15 p.m., video taken from the helicopter shows the man entering a nearby home and then, moments later, crashing an SUV through a closed garage door.
Again, the getaway was short-lived, as the suspect apparently got the vehicle stuck while attempting to flee off-road.
Forced to abandon the vehicle, the suspect ran onto the interstate and allegedly pointed his gun at travelers, in an attempt to hijack yet another vehicle, police said.
It was at this point that Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Fred Haggett confronted the suspect. Authorities say the man responded by dropping his gun, but refused to surrender until he was tackled by the deputy, bringing the wild two-hour crime spree to a sudden end.
Authorities said the female suspect is a juvenile. It is unclear if she is facing charges in the case. The male suspect is in custody awaiting charges. Investigators have declined to identify either suspect, pending the potential filing of charges, police said.
"It was just a relentless pursuit," sheriff's spokesman Jacki Kelley told The Denver Post. "We just continued to pursue the suspect until he eventually gave up. He just had no other choice."