Armed suspect broke into Colorado Supreme Court building and fired shots, caused damage before being arrested

 January 3, 2024

Ever since the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that former President Donald Trump is ineligible to appear on the state's primary election ballot, the court and its Democratic-appointed justices have reportedly faced an unknown number of threats.

On Tuesday, an armed individual broke into the building in Denver that houses the state supreme court and wreaked havoc, firing gunshots and causing "extensive damage," before eventually being taken into custody by the police, according to Business Standard.

At this time, however, authorities do not believe that the Tuesday incident is related to the Trump ruling or the threats received by the justices.

Suspect broke into building, fired shots, caused damage

Colorado Public Radio reported Tuesday that the incident began around 1:15 a.m. that morning with a two-vehicle car accident in front of the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center in Denver, which houses the state's Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, among other courts and offices.

One of the individuals involved in that accident, identified as Brandon Olsen, 44, initially pointed a handgun toward the other driver and then fled toward the judicial center and shot out a ground-floor window to gain entry into the building.

Per Denver Police, the suspect fired several shots as officers responded to the situation and surrounded the building, and also held an unarmed security guard at gunpoint to obtain a set of keys that provided him access to the rest of the building.

Olsen reportedly made his way to the building's seventh floor, where he is said to have fired more gunshots and even started a small fire that caused an unspecified amount of damage and triggered a fire alarm.

Around 3 a.m., the suspect reportedly called the police and then voluntarily turned himself over to be arrested by the officers waiting outside the building, after which he was briefly treated for an unknown issue at the Denver Health Medical Center before being transported to the headquarters of the Denver Police Department.

Colorado State Patrol issued statement on courthouse incident

NBC News reported that the Colorado State Patrol said in a statement about the incident that the armed suspect caused "significant and extensive damage" during his rampage through the Colorado Judicial Center in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

"The individual held the security guard at gunpoint and demanded access to other parts of the building," the state patrol's press release said. "The individual obtained keys from the security guard and proceeded into other parts of the building and accessed an unknown number of floors."

"At approximately 3:00 a.m., the suspect called 911 and voluntarily surrendered to police. He was placed in custody without further incident. There are no injuries to building occupants, the suspect, or police personnel," the statement from the state patrol added.

FBI investigating all threats against Colorado Supreme Court justices

NBC News further reported that the Colorado Supreme Court and its members have been subject to a flood of threats in the wake of that body's Dec. 19 ruling that declared former President Trump disqualified from appearing on a ballot or holding public office under the auspices of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by way of his alleged incitement of the purported "insurrection" that was the Jan. 6 Capitol riot of 2021.

The FBI has taken the lead in probing those threats and a spokesperson said agents would "pursue investigations of any threat or use of violence committed by someone who uses extremist views to justify their actions regardless of motivation."

The Bureau will undoubtedly take a close look at this particular incident but, at least as of now, it doesn't appear to be connected in any way to the high court's ruling against the former president's eligibility to run for and hold office.

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