Charges filed after shots fired at Jeffco SWAT vehicle during standoff
Ralph Barnhardt held on $1M bond
Last Updated: 101 days ago
GOLDEN, Colo. - A Morrison man faces 19 charges of attempted murder and 14 counts of first-degree assault after a standoff with SWAT officers last month in Jefferson County.
Jefferson County District Attorney Peter Weir announced charges Wednesday against Ralph Kirksten Barnhardt, 45, in connection with the standoff at 12574 W. Grand Ave., in the Rocky Hills subdivision near C-470 and West Belleview Avenue on July 5.
Barnhardt is alleged to have attacked his estranged wife who had come to the house, at his request, to let their dogs out. His wife no longer lived at the house. They had been separated about 60 days.
"He lured her there under false pretenses," said Jefferson County District Attorney Peter Weir. "She was not expecting him to be present."
Not expecting Barnhardt to be at the home, his wife had come to the house. She brought their child with her. She and Barnhardt began to argue. When she started to leave Barnhardt followed her and the child to the car and attacked her, according to court records.
Landscapers who were working nearby heard the woman's screams and intervened, stopping the assault. Afterward, Barnhardt took what appeared to be a pistol case and ammunition from his car and went into the house.
Sheriff's deputies arrived at the house and knocked at the door. Barnhardt would not answer the door. Deputies could see through the glass window that he was holding a gun in each hand.
Deputies retreated and the SWAT team was activated. A trained negotiator for the team began telephone negotiations with Barnhardt. Numerous conversations between Barnhardt and the SWAT negotiator took place but all were unsuccessful.
The SWAT team's armored BearCat was driven in front of the house, facing the front door. Court records reflect that Barnhardt fired two shots directly at the BearCat, one from each gun. One round hit the middle of the windshield of the armored vehicle.
Law enforcement officers returned fire, striking Barnhardt. He was transported to the hospital.
Eleven shell casings were found in the living room where Barnhardt was standing.
Barnhardt also faces a charge of child abuse, and attempted first-degree assault, in addition to harassment and third-degree assault.
When asked why he filed 19 counts of attempted murder against the suspect, Weir replied, “This was an extremely serious case where you have an individual who is taking shots at law enforcement. These are allegations that we need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt and a number of officers were in extraordinary danger. We believe this is an appropriate charge based on the facts.”
Barnhardt was advised of the charges filed against him on Tuesday. He is being held at the Jefferson County Detention Center on $1 million bond and has until Sept. 3 to schedule a preliminary hearing.
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