Colorado’s Dark Day: Supreme Court Shooter’s Fentanyl Use and Hallucinations Exposed in Shocking Affidavit

The man accused of shooting and setting fire to the Colorado Supreme Court building earlier this month had been using narcotics and suffering hallucinations prior to the incident, according to a police affidavit.

The shooting occurred on January 2 at 1 a.m., when police say a suspect fleeing a two-car accident blasted out a window of the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center and entered, according to a City of Denver news release. According to police, the man violently seized keys from an unarmed security guard, fired rounds across the facility, and set fire to a stairwell.

Authorities said Brandon Olsen, 44, surrendered at the site nearly two hours after the automobile incident. According to a probable cause document, Olsen admitted to taking several Fentanyl pills and using methamphetamines before the shooting. According to the document, Olsen revealed a history of drug misuse and relapse.

Olsen has been charged with first-degree arson, aggravated robbery, and second-degree burglary, according to court documents obtained by CNN. All are felonies.

His preliminary court appearance is set for February 20.

Olsen, who lives in Arizona, drove to Denver on New Year’s Eve to see his adolescent son, according to the affidavit.

Colorado's Dark Day: Supreme Court Shooter's Fentanyl Use and Hallucinations Exposed in Shocking Affidavit

Before the event, Olsen was driving his car and “felt like police were chasing him” after taking the narcotics, he told officers in an interview, according to the document.

“He attempted to evade these people by driving faster but he could not lose them,” according to the report. “At one point while in downtown Denver he crashed his car into another car at an intersection.”

According to the complaint, after the crash, Olsen grabbed his Taurus 9mm pistol from the back seat of his car and went towards the nearby state Supreme Court building, firing a shot at a window and crawled through the broken glass.

According to the affidavit, Olsen then obtained keys from a security guard and gained access to many stories and the building’s roof via the stairway and a master key.

Olsen started the fire on one of the higher stories with a lighter and paper, later telling officers he did it “because he thought people were after him,” according to the affidavit. At that point, the smoke was billowing, so he fired several shots into the building’s glass windows to clear it, according to reports.

After lighting the fire and noting a police presence outside the building, Olsen contacted 911 and stepped outside, where he was arrested, according to the affidavit.

According to the paper, Olsen told officers that he believed he was hallucinating and that he had never had the experience before.

According to the affidavit, police sent Olsen to a hospital for evaluation before interviewing him because he complained of chest trouble.

CNN has contacted Olsen’s attorney for comment.

The downtown facility, which houses the state’s Supreme Court, Colorado Court of Appeals, and other judicial institutions, had only two individuals inside when the incident occurred, according to investigators.

According to the affidavit, the security guard was alone at the information desk when he began investigating a noise. According to the court filing, the suspect held the guard at gunpoint while attempting to use a key to open a door for the pistol-wielding man.

The statement also mentions another individual on the premises, a woman who worked in an office. She told detectives she left when she heard the fire alarm and that she did not see the shooting or the fire.

Police said no one was hurt during the incident, but “there is significant and extensive damage to the building.”


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