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GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. - Neighbors who heard gunfire and explosions late Wednesday and early Thursday on the 4200 block of S. Alton Street in Greenwood Village, emerged from their homes and couldn’t believe what they saw – a house with gaping holes instead of windows and doors.
“My reaction is sadness,” said Ardis Smith, “There is a family that lived there and they’ve lost everything.”
The holes were evidence of the steps taken by police to capture Robert Jonathan Seacat, a suspected thief who allegedly barged into the home Wednesday afternoon, and opened fire on police when they tried to arrest him a short time later.
Seacat was taken into custody Thursday morning after the SWAT team used chemical agents, flash-bang grenades and a "breaching ram" to end the nearly 20-hour standoff.
Police said criminal charges are pending against Seacat, 33, of Denver.
The suspect has an 8 page rap sheet in Colorado, which includes arrests for aggravated motor vehicle theft, dangerous drug distribution, burglary, theft, forgery and harassment.
Police say the incident began Wednesday afternoon, when officers spotted a man suspected of shoplifting from a Walmart in Aurora. They say he drove to a nearby light rail station and then apparently fled on foot. They tracked him to the house on S. Alton Street, near Interstate 225 and South Yosemite Street.
Greenwood Village Police Chief John Jackson said a 9-year-old boy was in the home when the suspect barged in, but his mother and police dispatchers were able to talk him through getting out of the house.
The boy’s mom, Anna Mumzhiyan, did not return phone calls seeking comment.
His aunt, Susanna Roessler, told 7NEWS that the boy’s name is David. Roessler said she was unaware of the SWAT situation until she was told about it by a reporter. She said she tried to contact Mumzhiyan, but couldn’t get through.
Next door neighbor Kathryn Farrow said she spoke briefly with the boy’s mom Thursday morning.
“They’re pretty shaken up,” Farrow said. “But they’re grateful that their son is okay, and they’re grateful for all the support in the neighborhood and obviously for Greenwood Village Police.”
When asked about the boy, Farrow said, “They’re sweet people. The son is very polite.”
SWAT officers surrounded the home and the bomb squad remained at the scene overnight. Although the gunman fired several shots at police officers throughout the night, no one was hurt.
"We've actually been in the home and we believe he knew so. He directed fire in our direction," Jackson told 7NEWS prior to the arrest. "We believe he was firing through the floor and down through the stairwell at our officers."
Jackson said they also used a robot to be able to see inside.
Seacat was taken into custody just before 9 a.m. Thursday. He was transported to a hospital for evaluation, the Denver Post reported.
Jackson confirmed the suspect's family cooperated with police during the standoff.
"We didn't let the family members talk to him directly but we delivered messages from his family to him," said Jackson.
"One of his demands was to talk to his sister," Jackson said. Officers brought her to the home but he wouldn't come out to talk to her.
Seven surrounding homes were evacuated during the standoff. Water and power were turned off in the area.
Neighbors who were in their homes when the standoff started Wednesday at 2 p.m. were told to remain indoors but to stay away from windows.
One neighbor who was forced to stay in his house all night emerged from his home Thursday morning and was shocked to see the damage to his neighbor's home.
"It's totally damaged from the front, from the back. We heard all of the explosions all night long. We couldn't sleep all night because of the explosions, and the shootings," said Mazen Alaswad.
Farrow said, “I think (police) did what they needed to do, because he was armed and he was not going to come out peacefully. There were weapons in the house and from what I know, he was shooting at police too.”
When it was all over, a group of neighborhood kids showed their appreciation for the officers involved.
These kids thanking all the officers who stayed up all night on the Greenwood Village stand off! Nice to see! pic.twitter.com/NA5BUIadgB