Denver police have swarmed a RadioShack store on the northeast corner of Glencoe Street and East Colfax Avenue where an armed suspect is holding at least one hostage.
A police officer is also inside the store and is in contact with SWAT officers and negotiators.
SWAT officers with riot shields entered the store just before 10:40 a.m. Denver police have thrown a phone into the store for the suspect to use.
Denver police spokesman John White said a robbery was reported at 9:48 a.m. Officers responded within minutes.
White said shots have been fired, but he said there is no confirmation that anyone has been injured.
Businesses in the adjacent strip mall and nearby streets have been evacuated. Traffic on
Police cars block streets during a robbery-turned-hostage situation at a Radio Shack store on Colfax Avenue at Glencoe Street, Friday, Sept. 7, 2012. (Kathryn Scott Osler, The Denver Post)
Fifteen to 20 cops, including SWAT-team officers, are in front of the RadioShack. Others searched the alley behind the store with their guns drawn.
Along Glencoe Street north of Colfax, cops have lined the street with their cars and are pointing their guns toward the store from behind open car doors.
Jill Warner, co-owner of Mod Livin', said her business has been evacuated and police snipers are on the roof of her building.
"All of a sudden, I looked out the window and there was a cop car pulled up. I just said to Amanda lock all the doors and turn off the lights," she said.
Police entered her furniture store and told her the situation is serious and then asked how to get onto the roof. Soon after, she and her employee were ordered to leave the building.
From the parking lot of Solera Restaurant across the street, Warner said she could see what appears to be a family group, including five younger women with children. She said they are phoning the mother of the alleged suspect.
Near The Elm, at Elm Street and East Colfax, a young woman with a child is weeping inconsolably.
Warner said police blew the doors off of the
"This is so bad for this neighborhood, for this to happen," she said.
Four Denver Public schools are on lockdown as the result of the situation. They are Palmer, Keller, Park Hill and Montclair School of Academics and Enrichment elementary schools.
DPS spokeswoman Kristy Armstrong said the doors of the schools will remain locked and no one will be allowed in or out until police deem the area safe.