Denver detective, Daniel Deleon, accused of firing 6 shots in his home in angry fit

Deleon's wife, children found hiding in bathroom

THORNTON, Colo. - A Denver police detective told Thornton officers investigating a domestic violence report that the noise they heard outside his house wasn't gunshots, but the sound of him popping bubble wrap.

Yet, Thornton officers entering Detective Daniel Diaz Deleon's home found six bullet holes in the living room ceiling and Deleon's wife and two children cowering and crying in a downstairs bathroom, according to an arrest affidavit. They weren't injured.

Our partners at the Denver Post first reported this story.

One of Deleon's children called 911 at about 11:50 p.m. on Saturday night and said her father was physically assaulting her mother at their Thornton home, the affidavit said.

The first officer to arrive on scene reported hearing "the distinct sound of six gunshots from inside the home."

A Thornton dispatcher got Deleon on the phone and he identified himself as a police officer. Deleon said "the noise was him popping bubble wrap," the affidavit said. The dispatcher instructed Deleon to exit the home.

Deleon went outside, but the Thornton officer said the man was belligerent and refused repeated commands to show his hands and walk toward the officer.

"F--- you, come and get me!" Deleon told the officer, according to the affidavit. The officer told Deleon he was under arrest for obstructing police, but the officer said Deleon continued to ignore his commands until he eventually stepped onto the driveway to be arrested.

The officer said Deleon smelled of alcohol.

Police said officers entering the house found six bullet holes in the living room ceiling and spent bullets on the floor. Upstairs, an officer noted the smell of gunpowder and found six 9mm shell casings on the floor of the hallway outside the master bedroom, indicating the shots had been fired down into the living room, the affidavit said.

Officers found Deleon's frightened wife and children hiding in a first-floor bathroom.

The wife told police Deleon was intoxicated when he came home about 10:45 p.m., and he tried to talk her into go to a party with him. She said Deleon became upset when she said she wanted to go to bed and wasn't interested in the party.

This escalated into an argument and the wife said when she tried to leave the bedroom, Deleon pinning her down by her arms on the bed, the affidavit said.

The wife said Deleon's shouting awakened one of their children who came into the room. The mother told the child to call 911 if Deleon didn't stop being aggressive and the child soon called 911, the affidavit said.
The wife said, "This made Daniel very mad" and he began "yelling obscenities at [the child] and berating her for calling the police on her own father." But he let his wife go and walked into another room.

The mother got her children and took them to hide in the downstairs bathroom. She told police she could hear Deleon "banging things around upstairs" and then walking out to the garage. Soon afterward, she heard Deleon re-enter the home and the sound of gunfire.

Then Thornton officers arrived and arrested the Denver detective.

The 42-year-old Deleon was booked into Adams County jail on investigation of domestic violence, child abuse, false imprisonment, reckless endangerment, harassment, obstructing a peace officer, resisting arrest and prohibited use of weapons, according to court records. He's been released on $5,000 bond.

Deleon is on paid leave from the Denver Police Department until the domestic violence case is resolved, said Christine Downs, a department spokeswoman.

A mandatory protection order has been issued, baring Deleon from harassing or contacting his wife and children or from purchasing or possessing a gun, any other weapon or ammunition.

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