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Hours-long standoff with Colorado Springs police ends with ambulance ride

March 12, 2018 Updated: March 13, 2018 at 6:05 am
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Police surrounded an area just south of downtown Colorado Springs on Monday evening for a barricaded suspect apparently holding a hostage. (Nichole Montanez, The Gazette)

A Colorado Springs police SWAT team rushed to the TravelStar Inn & Suites after a suspect barricaded himself inside with a hostage Monday night, and hours later someone was taken away by ambulance after an explosive boom was heard from the motel.

Police Lt. Howard Black refused to say whether the suspect or hostage was injured, killed or taken away by ambulance, or what caused the explosive sound.

He would only say that all individuals were "accounted for," and the El Paso County Sheriff's Office will investigate.

Typically the Sheriff's Office investigates if police use deadly force.

Roxanne Washington said her friend Corky Oliver and his wife were barricaded in the room.

"He's like family to me," said Washington.

Oliver has been troubled since his father died about a month ago, she said.

"He's got so many people who care and love him," she said, shaking her head as tears streamed down her face. "When he lost his dad, he just felt like he's all alone. And he's not.

"He'd rather kill himself than go back to prison. He's been in prison (off and on) his whole life."

Corky Lee Oliver was arrested June 23, one of three suspects in the nonfatal shooting of a man after he walked into a Starbucks at 1455 S. Nevada Ave. He was to face trial April 2 on attempted first-degree murder and other charges.

Oliver, 31, was being sought most recently on suspicion of four felonies: aggravated robbery, first-degree assault, menacing and possession of a weapon by a previous offender. The crimes occurred either Feb. 27 or 28, records indicate.

Roxanne Washington sits in an SUV across the street from the motel where an hours-long standoff with police took place. (Nichole Montanez, The Gazette) 

Washington said she and her sister, who sat in an SUV across the street from the motel, reached Oliver by telephone twice Monday night while he was barricaded.

She said they begged him to surrender, but he told them he had no intention of coming out and hung up both times.

"The last thing he said to us was, 'I'm about to die.'"

Shortly before 9 p.m., police entered the hotel.

Some of Oliver's friends, who were watching from across the street, began yelling as police made them move farther back for safety.

They yelled at officers to not kill their friend when they realized SWAT officers might be entering Oliver's room.

Police had evacuated other rooms at the inn, at 1703 S. Nevada Ave., as well as nearby homes and businesses early in the evening.

Among motel patrons evacuated were Shemar Ellis, 14, and his mother, Nicole.

Shemar picked up the phone in their room at the TravelStar and was told to evacuate.

"He said to get out within, like, the next minute," Shemar said. "He wanted to stay on the phone with us until we left. ... I was confused. I was like, 'What?'"

Ellis said she was scared. "I didn't know what was happening or if guns were gonna go off or what's happening. I just wanted to get my son out of there."

The American Red Cross came to the scene to help the evacuees.

Northbound traffic on South Nevada Avenue was blocked at Southgate Road about 7 p.m., and southbound vehicles were being diverted at Ramona Avenue starting about 8:30 p.m.

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The Gazette's Linda Navarro contributed to this story.