Breckenridge SWAT standoff resolved peacefully, no charges filed |

Breckenridge SWAT standoff resolved peacefully, no charges filed

Jack Queen
Condo complex at 306 Illinois Gulch Road in Breckenridge, where an armed SWAT standoff ended peacefully on Friday.
Hugh Carey /

A Summit County SWAT standoff with an armed man in Breckenridge was resolved peacefully after several hours of negotiations over the weekend. No charges were filed against the man, who was experiencing a crisis Friday evening, Summit County Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons said.

The man’s girlfriend made the initial report after fleeing the man’s unit in the Wildflower condos on Illinois Gulch Road southeast of Breckenridge.

The standoff lasted all night and caused some confusion around midnight, when dispatchers mistakenly sent all-clear messages to roughly 3,500 people who had been unaware of the situation.

The Summit County Communications Center apologized in a statement for “any alarm or concern this may have caused.”

Summit County SWAT deployed its armored rescue vehicle to the condo complex Friday night, but the 8,600-pound machine was not used to evacuate any residents because of the building’s layout.

Instead, police negotiators spent several hours exchanging text messages with the man and coordinating with friends whom he was communicating with.

The texts indicated that the man was calming down around midnight, but deputies stayed on scene until the morning.

“We just sat on it all night and made contact in the morning,” FitzSimons said. “He realized he was in a crisis and wanted to get help.”

The man’s weapons were not confiscated because there was no reason to suspect any criminal activity, FitzSimons said.

Summit’s rescue vehicle has been deployed several times since it was acquired through the federal government’s 1033 military surplus program, including at least one other armed standoff. Cases with barricaded suspects typically stem from mental health crises, FitzSimons said.

“It almost seems like there isn’t a call we go to anymore where there isn’t some sort of mental health or substance abuse nexus involved once you scratch the surface a little bit,” he said.

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