CASCADE • A home invasion in this town just west of Colorado Springs turned into an hours-long standoff Sunday and triggered a three-hour closure of U.S. Highway 24.

Around 8:30 a.m., several 911 calls were made — and then dropped — from a home in Cascade. When El Paso County Sheriff’s deputies arrived at the home, they learned that there were possibly two armed suspects holding several people hostage.

But what started as a mysterious chain of 911 calls turned into a lengthy standoff and an effort to rescue the home’s seven residents. 

Just before noon, the highway was shut down in both directions at Cascade while deputies tried to get four people out of the home and three more from a detached garage.

By 2 p.m., the residents had made it out safely and deputies had arrested Eli Carlos Hahn, 28, on suspicion of first-degree burglary, aggravated robbery, second-degree kidnapping, child abuse and of being a felon in possession of a firearm. After his arrest, Hahn was transported to a hospital — the sheriff’s office did not say why he was being treated — where he eventually was cleared. Hahn then was booked into the county jail.

In mid-November, Hahn pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance and was sentenced to two years of probation, court records show.

After Hahn’s arrest Sunday, a SWAT team moved in to examine the home near the Pikes Peak Highway, and officers found the second man, who was detained for questioning and then released, according to the sheriff’s office. While the search went on, some residents waited outside as heavy, wet snow began to fall.

Gessa Nilsen paced the street in front of the home wrapped in a blanket, waiting to be let back inside. Although she is one of the home’s seven residents, Nilsen said she knew little about what happened.

“I’m inside the house, like in the center of the house, and I didn’t hear nothing, you know,” she said. “Then I heard my name on the intercom.”

A voice coming from a law enforcement loud speaker told Nilsen to drop everything and get out of the house. She and her six roommates — who included the landlady and her three children — then were evacuated to a SWAT vehicle, Nilsen said.