‘Agitated’ man threatens Walgreens employee with a knife, leading to standoff with Denver police

If you saw a rack of police cars at the drugstore at Colfax and Race late Saturday night, that’s why.

A group of police officers attempt to coax a suspect out of the Walgreens on East Colfax Avenue. (David Sachs/Denverite)

A group of police officers attempt to coax a suspect out of the Walgreens on East Colfax Avenue. (David Sachs/Denverite)

staff photos

An agitated man threatened to shoot a cashier at the Walgreens at 2000 E. Colfax, then walked around the store with a knife he had found as employees and customers fled, locking him inside.

After a standoff, police shot 56-year-old Leroy Ruiz with a rubber bullet early Sunday and arrested him.

According to a Denver Police Department report, Ruiz entered the store late Saturday and told the woman working at the front cash register, “I have a gun and I’ll shoot you.”

Ruiz, who was visibly “agitated” according to the report, then walked behind the counter at the photo station and rifled through drawers until he found a knife. He walked around the store wielding the knife and a crutch.

After employees and customers fled, locking Ruiz inside, police tried coaxing him out for well over an hour, according to witnesses at the scene. Eventually police used a “less than lethal” 40 millimeter round — essentially a rubber bullet — to subdue Ruiz.

Officers arrested Ruiz. He faces a felony charge of menacing with a weapon.

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