A man suspected of sexually assaulting a woman after kidnapping her in the parking lot of a Walmart in Falcon killed himself when officers tried to arrest him Friday in Aurora, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office said.

A tip led authorities to the suspect, whose name has not been released, in the 1200 block of South Zeno Circle, where he barricaded himself Friday night. He apparently shot himself after El Paso County sheriff’s deputies and Aurora Police Department SWAT officers arrived at the property, Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Jacqueline Kirby said Saturday.

On Dec. 5, a woman loaded groceries into her vehicle in the parking lot of the Walmart at 11550 Meridian Market View. While she returned her cart, a man got into the unlocked vehicle and pointed a gun at her when she returned, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The man, who was armed with a handgun, forced her to drive to a “remote location,” where he sexually assaulted her, the Sheriff’s Office said. After the assault, he ordered the woman to drive back to the Walmart and park behind the store. The man then walked back to his vehicle, an older-model, dark-colored SUV.

It’s possible that he tried to get into another woman’s vehicle just before this assault, the Sheriff’s Office said.

On Nov. 24, a sex offender armed with a knife attempted to get into a vehicle at a King Soopers in Monument.

The woman hurriedly locked the door when the man approached, and a man she was with managed to get into the vehicle when the assailant tried to stab him.

Steven Weaver, 51, was captured nearby and arrested on suspicion of attempted first-degree kidnapping, attempted aggravated robbery, felony menacing, first-degree criminal trespass, failure to register as a sex offender and harassment, police said.

“The Monument Police Department would like to point out that the awareness displayed by the vehicle owners played a very large part in this incident concluding without injury or further criminal episode,” a news release says. “They were both aware of their surroundings and paid attention to circumstances that did not seem right.”

Twitter: @lizmforster

Phone: 636-0193

Liz Forster is a general assignment reporter with a focus on environment and public safety. She is a Colorado College graduate, avid hiker and skier, and sweet potato enthusiast. Liz joined The Gazette in June 2017.

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