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Officers kill suspect after hours-long standoff south of downtown Colorado Springs

March 13, 2018 Updated: March 13, 2018 at 7:31 pm
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Cory Amber Oliver grieves in front of the TravelStar Inn & Suites on Tuesday, after being in the motel room with her husband Monday night when police fatally shot him after an hours-long standoff. (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

Police shot and killed a suspect Monday night after an hours-long standoff at a motel south of downtown Colorado Springs.

Corky Lee Oliver, 31, had barricaded himself and his wife inside a room at the TravelStar Inn & Suites, 1703 S. Nevada Ave., after police tried to arrest him on an outstanding robbery warrant, the El Paso County Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

Oliver told officers he was armed and holding a woman hostage, so they evacuated the motel and surrounding buildings.

After more than six hours, at about 9:40 p.m., police forced their way into the room, fired multiple shots and killed Oliver, the sheriff's news release said.

His wife, Cory Amber Oliver, was taken to a hospital with injuries that weren't life-threatening, police said.

The Sheriff's Office is investigating to avoid a conflict of interest. Under state law, a neutral agency can be asked to investigate after law enforcement officers use deadly force.

Oliver had been troubled since his father died about a month ago and has been in prison off and on "his whole life," friend Roxanne Washington told The Gazette at the standoff site Monday night.

He was arrested June 23 as one of three suspects in the nonfatal shooting of a man at a Starbucks at 1455 S. Nevada Ave. He was set to face trial April 2 on attempted first-degree murder and other charges.

More recently, Oliver was being sought on suspicion of four felonies that happened either Feb. 27 or 28: aggravated robbery, first-degree assault, menacing and possession of a weapon by a previous offender, records show.

"Yes, he was a criminal and did some bad things, but he was more than that," his widow told The Gazette on Tuesday.

She sat outside the TravelStar, where she had been with her husband when he died. She perched on a stone ledge with two balloons tied to a bottle of blue Gatorade and a McDonald's chicken sandwich - "his favorite things," she said.

"He was just a caring person," Cory Oliver said. "If he saw someone in need, he'd do anything to help them.

"I once saw him buy a kid a pair of shoes who didn't have any. He was that kind of person."

She also said he did not commit the February robbery for which he was being sought Monday.

During the Monday night evacuations of dozens of people, the American Red Cross arrived to help the evacuees.

A Domino's Pizza at 1823 S. Nevada Ave. donated "fresh pizza to serve over 30 who were displaced," the Red Cross said in a tweet. "You extended comfort in your local community. We value our relationship with local partners like you."

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