Shooting Incident in Colorado Supreme Court Building Leads to Intruder’s Arrest

( – In Denver, Brandon Olsen, 44, is facing serious charges after an early morning car wreck somehow prompted him to break into the Ralph L Carr Colorado Judicial Center that houses the Colorado Supreme Court and the state Court of Appeals on January 2. Olsen surrendered after firing shots inside the building, holding an unarmed Colorado State Patrol (CSP) Capitol Security Unit (CSU) guard hostage, and firing at CSP and Denver Police officers that surrounded the building.

Just after 1:15 a.m. local time, a two-car accident occurred at 13th Avenue and Lincoln in Denver, near the Capitol Complex. Olsen, one of the two drivers, brandished a gun at the other driver and fled the scene. Police say Olsen shot out a window on the east side of the Judicial Center and climbed inside the building.

A CSP CSU guard inside the building heard the noises and went to investigate when he turned the hallway corner to find Olsen kicking open the door to a storage closet. Hoping to de-escalate the situation, the guard offered to unlock the door for Olsen. The intruder responded by pointing his gun at the guard and taking the keys.

Olsen began accessing other areas and floors of the building, sometimes firing additional shots. At one point, he set a fire in the stairwell leading to the seventh floor. He also allegedly fired shots at officers who formed a perimeter outside the building. They didn’t return fire.

Around 3 a.m., Olsen called 911 and arranged to surrender to police voluntarily. Firefighters and medical personnel came to the scene, and the fire department quickly controlled the stairwell fire the intruder had set. Although nobody reported any injuries, first responders took Olsen to the hospital for screening before turning him over to the Denver Police. Charges are pending from the District Attorney’s office.

Investigators and inspectors were still evaluating damage to the building on Tuesday afternoon. However, police say the break-in doesn’t appear related to threats made to state Supreme Court Justices after their ruling two weeks before, in December 2023, finding former President Trump disqualified from appearing on state ballots according to Section Three of the 14th Amendment, sometimes called the Insurrection Clause.

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