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Author Topic: Colo. sniper ends campus standoff  (Read 1009 times)


  • Aaron Warren
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Colo. sniper ends campus standoff
« on: March 20, 2008, 09:42:14 PM »

 Colo. sniper ends campus standoff

By Tom McGhee, Mike McPhee and Anna Haislip
The Denver Post

BOULDER, Calo. After a four-hour standoff, Boulder SWAT officers shot a man who threatened to blow up Boulder Community Hospital this morning.

Boulder Police first attempted to subdue Terrance Baughman, 32, using a police dog and a flash grenade. But after he "began to move in a way that (police) though threatened public safety," he was shot in the chest just after 1 p.m., said police spokeswoman Sarah Huntley.

She said police found two "packages," one in the hospital vestibule and one outside near the emergency entrance.

Huntley said a bomb squad robot X-rayed a red box and found that it contained an object. The robot took the box to North Boulder Park, where it was destroyed by a water canyon. The second box was X-rayed and found to be empty.

Boulder police received a report shortly before 9 a.m. that a man was telling those who passed him in the front entrance of the hospital that he had a detonator attached to an explosive device near an oxygen bottle.

Police said he was holding a red box.

Baughman, who was sitting in a hospital wheelchair, was a former patient at the hospital, but it wasn't immediately known why he was at the hospital today.

Baughman has a lengthy criminal history, which includes drug possession, forgery, larceny, robbery, assault and theft.

Rescue personnel evacuated patients to safer areas, and the hospital was closed, said Huntley. Police also called in snipers and positioned SWAT teams inside and outside the hospital.

"Police were able to identify a safety perimeter for us, based on the size of the package. That required us to move five patients who were in our emergency room," said hospital spokesman Rich Sheehan.

A female negotiator entered the hospital, approached Baughman and began talking to him. The negotiator was wired so Boulder police could hear the conversation.

When officers became concerned for her safety, she left the hospital. Boulder police released his identity in hopes that family or friends would help with the negotiations.

Huntley said Baughman was "well-known" at the hospital and that police contacted his doctor to help with negotiations and to assess Baughman's medical condition.

Between 1:15 and 1:20 p.m., Baughman got out of the wheelchair and "began moving in such a way as to cause concern," police said.

Huntley said police confronted him, possibly trying to move him outside, but that "sparked a confrontation." Huntley said officers did not want him to go farther into the hospital, and tried to distract him with a flash granade and other devices. When Baughman continued to move into the hospital, a SWAT officer shot him in the chest.

Baughman did not indicate why he was threatening the hospital, located on Broadway, between Balsam and Alpine avenues.

Reached at his home in Lawton, Okla, Baughman's father, Jimmy Ray Baughman, said his son had been troubled since he was a child. He said his son was was in and out of boys homes and foster facilities since the age of 8, when he setfire to an Oklahoma mall.

"Knowing him, I can't hold the police department responsible for plugging him," Baughman said. "He was always a violent person. While he never said he'd kill someone, he would give the impression he was violent."

Julie Espy, of Tallahassee, Fla., Baughman's former sister-in-law, said Baughman was troubled, but never violent during the short time he had lived with Espy and her ex-husband.

"He was never violent that I knew," Espy said. "He was just somebody struggling through life."

A number of streets were blocked off in the area, and Casey Middle School, a few blocks from the hospital, was on lockdown, according to Briggs Gamblin, Boulder Valley School District spokesman.