In a massive SWAT operation, cops descended on a home in Aurora, Colorado.
Hours later, the house was blown apart. Were they after a deadly terrorist? Nope -- just a shoplifter with a gun.
“This happened to my home in this quiet suburban neighborhood for one shopper with a handgun,” furious homeowner Leo Lech told INSIDE EDITION. His house was destroyed by police. He wonders whether it was an overreaction -- all to apprehend a shoplifter.
Photos taken inside show the destruction. Every room is just a wreck.
“This family's home, in a matter of hours, was completely destroyed by who was viewed as a paramilitary operation by thugs," said Lech.
It started when a shoplifting suspect on the run burst into the house, which he had picked at random. Lech's grandson, David, was home.
“I saw this guy coming up the stairs with a gun in his hand, and he said he wasn't going to hurt me,” he said.
Neighbors were evacuated and a standoff ensued.
“There was one armored tank here. There was another armored tank in the backyard,” said Leo.
Twenty hours later, SWAT officers made their move. A breaching ram broke down the door. Grenades were thrown.
"They methodically went room by room by room and fired some sort of explosive into every single room of this home," said Lech.
The suspect was captured. But this homeowner says that in his opinion, excessive force was used. Police defended their actions, calling it a textbook operation that resulted in no lives being lost.
Commander Dustin Varney of the Greenwood Village Police said, “We're there to save lives and prevent lives from being taken, adding, "We've got to show perseverance, restraint and professionalism."
But the family wonders whether losing their home and belongings was worth the price.
“This was not an act of terror. This was a single gunman held up in a home," said Lech.
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