A man, identified as 44-year-old Brandon Olsen, created havoc in the early hours of Tuesday when he forcefully entered the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center, home to the state Supreme Court and the Colorado Court of Appeals.
The incident unfolded after Olsen was involved in a car crash, following which he shot out a window and broke into the judicial center.
Break-in occurs after Colorado Supreme Court ruling
The Colorado State Patrol described the event as causing “significant and extensive” damage.
The incident occurred against the backdrop of a recent ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court on December 19.
Colorado Supreme Court blocks Trump from primary ballot over Capitol attack
The court determined that former President Trump would not be permitted on the state’s Republican primary ballot under the insurrection clause of the 14th Amendment.
This marked the first instance of a state blocking Trump’s candidacy due to his role in the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack.
However, the court put a temporary hold on its ruling until Thursday to allow Trump to seek review from the U.S. Supreme Court.
FBI investigates threats directed at state justices
Since the court’s decision, the FBI has been actively investigating threats directed at the state justices involved in the ruling.
The Denver FBI Field Office, in collaboration with local law enforcement, is working to rigorously pursue any threat or use of violence against the justices.
Investigation reveals break-in not connected to previous threats
While the break-in is being treated seriously, preliminary investigations suggest that it is not directly associated with the prior threats to the Colorado Supreme Court Justices.
The events surrounding Olsen’s actions occurred independently of the ongoing FBI probe into threats against the justices.
Gunman fires shots, starts fire at Colorado Supreme Court
Olsen’s disruptive actions extended to pointing a handgun at another driver after the initial car crash.
Subsequently, he held an unarmed Colorado State Patrol Capitol Security Unit guard at gunpoint, taking their keys.
Once inside the judicial center, Olsen fired shots on the seventh floor and engaged in a confrontation with Denver police officers and Colorado State Patrol troopers outside the building. At one point, he even started a fire on the seventh floor.
Olsen surrenders after attack on Colorado Supreme Court
The chaotic situation led Olsen to call 911, voluntarily surrendering to the police around 3 a.m. He was taken into custody and later transported to a hospital for clearance.
Law enforcement agencies, with the lead role assigned to the Denver Police Department, will conduct a thorough investigation into the incident.
The Denver District Attorney’s Office will determine the final charges against Olsen, who is currently held for investigation of robbery, burglary, and arson.