Gunfire in ‘sheltered suburb’ sent Westminster bystanders to cover


WESTMINSTER, Colo. — Construction workers laying concrete near West 104th Avenue and Federal Boulevard hit the ground Thursday afternoon as a pair of bank robbers being chased by Westminster police fired a shot through the rear window of their Subaru.

It was the first shot in a rolling gun battle that ended 16 blocks away when police forced the getaway car to crash.

“I could hear ‘Pow! Ding! . . . Pow! Ding!’ ” said 43-year-old Shad Grothe of Littleton.

Grothe and his co-workers scrambled for cover — one diving to the snow-covered ground, others hiding behind a yellow John Deere tractor and pile of concrete debris.

Grothe said he bolted for a gas station convenience store, hoping to get behind bulletproof glass. Patrons at the gas station hit the floor for cover.

The shooters fired four more times, the workers said, before they turned back out to Federal Boulevard and sped away, with the police in pursuit.

“I looked up and said, ‘Oh, the cops got somebody!’ His lights were on,” said another worker, Andy Sprague of Centennial. “I thought he pulled him over for running a stop sign or something. Then all of a sudden: ‘Boom! Boom! . . . Boom!'”

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This story appeared on Page 20A of the Nov. 20 final edition of The Denver Post. Daniel Petty reported the part of the story republished above.