Murder parolee blows up room at Colorado hotel, gets shot by police, authorities say

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LONGMONT, Colo. (KDVR) — A convicted murderer who was out on parole is accused of blowing up a Colorado hotel room before being shot by police Thursday night.

The Longmont Police Department said authorities first attempted to make contact with Leon Gladwell, 40, at a Residence Inn around 12:54 p.m. Thursday.

Gladwell was recently released on parole after serving a 1998 prison sentence for murdering his grandmother in Boulder, Colorado.

Officers said they had information that Gladwell was afraid he was going to hurt someone. They were also told he had knives and propane tanks in his third-floor room.

LPD said officers tried to talk with Gladwell near his room, saying he was angry, uncooperative and armed with several knives. They also said he refused requests to exit the room.

The Colorado State Parole unit later obtained a felony arrest warrant for Gladwell, and law enforcement returned to the hotel Thursday evening to arrest him.

At 7:21 p.m., the LPD said, Gladwell detonated an unknown explosive device that created a fireball in the room, activated the fire sprinklers and blew out two windows.

LPD said Gladwell still refused to exit. At around 8:45 p.m., Gladwell approached the blown-out window with what was believed to be a propane tank and was shot by police, according to a release Friday morning.

At 11:45 pm., officers entered the room and took Gladwell into custody.

Gladwell was taken to a hospital with at least one gunshot wound, according to police. His condition was not immediately released.

The officer involved in the shooting has been placed on administrative leave, per department policy, pending the outcome of the investigation.

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