Sheriff's Office Tactical Support Group Takes Stabbing Suspect Into Custody

November 21, 2021

Today, just after 3:30 AM, a woman called 911 from the area of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School, located at 6910 Defoe Avenue in Security/Widefield, saying she had been stabbed.  Due to proximity, officers of the Fountain Police Department arrived on scene first.  They discovered an adult female with serious stab wounds.  They rendered immediate first aid and she was transported to a local hospital for treatment. 

El Paso County Sheriff's Office Patrol Division deputies arrived on scene a short time after Fountain PD officers and took over the investigation as the area is in unincorporated El Paso County.  They determined an adult male suspect was inside a home in the 6800 block of Defoe Avenue, along with two juveniles.  The adult male suspect was identified as Julian Espinoza, DOB: 01/24/86.  EPSO patrol deputies contained the home and attempted to call anyone inside out.  However, there was no response.

As a result, the Sheriff's Office Tactical Support Group (TSG) was summoned to the scene.  The TSG consists of tactical dispatchers, tactical medics from the Colorado Springs Fire Department, crisis negotiators, bomb squad members, SWAT K9 deputies, and SWAT deputies.  A shelter-in-place order was sent out via Everbridge to residents situated within a one-quarter mile radius of the 6800 block of Defoe Avenue.  Additionally, a warrant was obtained for the suspect's arrest and search of the home.

The TSG replaced patrol deputies around the home and began attempts to both call the suspect out as well as use negotiators to directly communicate with the suspect in the hopes of securing his peaceful surrender.  Although direct communication with the suspect was made by negotiators and conversation ensued, he continued to refuse to exit the residence and surrender.  Fortunately, both juveniles exited the residence uninjured and were removed from the area.  It is not believed they were held hostage at any point during this incident by the suspect.

Due to the suspect's continued refusal to exit the home and surrender, the TSG deployed less than lethal gas munitions into the home.  After continued communication with the suspect by negotiators and the effects of the gas munitions on him, he eventually exited the residence and peacefully surrendered.  He was decontaminated on scene and subsequently booked into the El Paso County Jail on the following charges:  1st Degree Assault (Felony), Menacing (Felony), and Criminal Mischief (Misdemeanor).  His mug shot is attached to this media release.

The shelter-in-place order was immediately lifted.  Sheriff's Office Major Crimes detectives responded and assumed control of the investigation.  The victim’s condition is currently “stable” with non-life threatening injuries.

The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Fountain Police Department officers who responded for their timely and valuable assistance this morning and to the public in the area for their adherence to the shelter-in-place order.

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MR 21-128