RadioShack Hostage: Robbers held gun to my head, apologized during six-hour standoff

Affidavit: Gunmen fired on officers

DENVER - Two gunmen trapped by police during a robbery at a RadioShack last week alternated between apologizing to their hostage and holding a gun to his head, according to newly released police records.

The two gunman opened fire on two uniformed officers who interrupted the robbery just before 10 a.m. Friday at the RadioShack, located at 5305 E. Colfax Avenue, according to arrest affidavits.

The robbers' gunfire shattered the store's front window and the entry door was locked, so the two officers retreated briefly to set up a perimeter with other responding officers.

But hearing more gunfire and knowing a store employee was being held hostage, a team of patrol officers entered the store, where both gunmen fired at the officers from a back room, the affidavit said.

"Officer Robledo then returned fire as the officers held their position," the affidavit said.

Metro SWAT officers and police negotiators responded to the scene.

The store manager's name was redacted from the police report, but the manager's parents told 7NEWS he is Chris Nimerfroh.

Nimerfroh later told police that he was forced into a bathroom, where one robbery suspect, identified as Michael Annan, 23, "pointed a gun at his head and accused him of setting off an alarm," the affidavit said.

The hostage's mother, Melissa Nimerfroh, told 7NEWS her son said, "That he thought he was gone. He just prayed real hard. He kept (saying) over and over he just wanted to see his (5-year-old) son." 

The hostage told police the gunmen, worrying aloud that police might rush them, then moved him to a back room.

The gunmen kept firing their guns toward the front of the store, "yelling for the police to stay back," Nimerfroh told investigators.

Nimerfroh said Annan and the other suspect, Taveuan Williams, 19, began making several calls on their cellphones, telling people what was happening and that "they were going to go to jail," the affidavit said.

The hostage said he heard Williams tell someone on the phone "that he had fired at the cops, he was going to jail for a long time and he was going to die today," the affidavit said.

Nimerfroh told police "he thought he was going to die" during the standoff, the affidavit said.

Yet, the hostage also said the gunmen "treated him decently and even apologized to (him) prior to being arrested," the affidavit said.

Nimerfroh said the men "told him several times they were not going to hurt him and that they were using him as leverage to keep the police from coming back into the back room."

After a six-hour standoff, during which police said negotiators assured the suspects they would not be harmed if they peacefully surrendered, the two young men gave up.

Police said Williams took off his shirt, dismantled his handgun and walked out of the back room. Annan also put his gun down on a table and came out, the affidavit said.

The hostage was freed unharmed.

Nimerfroh told police the gunmen had entered the store wearing red-bandana masks and locked the front door. They took about $300 from the cash register and ordered the manager to fill two duffel bags with iPhones, other smart phones, video-game systems and other merchandise. One robber carried the bags outside to a car and then returned, the affidavit said.

Police later found two duffel bags in a white Chevy Malibu parked behind the RadioShack, the affidavit said.

During interviews with detectives, both suspects admitted they entered the store with guns to rob it, the affidavit said.

"Annan stated that when the police arrived, they were unable to escape. So they held the clerk hostage to protect themselves from the police," the affidavit said. 

Both Annan and Williams have been charged with attempted murder, robbery and kidnapping. They both are being held in jail on $200,000 bond.