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Police dispose of explosives from Colorado gunman’s apartment
Police dispose of explosives from Colorado gunman’s apartment (VIDEO, PHOTOS)
Bomb technicians have disposed of all explosive devices removed from the Aurora, Colorado apartment of James Holmes, the man suspected of killing 12 people and wounding 58 others at a movie screening late Thursday night.
Improvised explosive devices were placed in a sand truck and taken to a disposal site. Once there, some of the materials were detonated inside makeshift cinderblock containers while the rest was buried, then detonated once underground.
Video of the scene shows a series of coordinated blasts, after which the material burned for several minutes.
There were no official comments on the kind or quantity of explosive materials that had been detonated, but earlier police reported that they had discovered some 30 softball-sized home-made explosive devices in the suspect’s apartment.
FBI agents are still collecting evidence in Holmes’ apartment.
Most of the evacuated tenants of the nearby homes have been allowed to return to their apartments. Five buildings were evacuated as law enforcement officials discussed ways of detonating or disarming the explosives.
Apartment designed to kill
Earlier, the FBI said that the most dangerous wire trap was connected to the door of the apartment, and anyone who had opened the door would have been seriously injured or killed.
Aurora police chief Daniel Oates said the apartment was booby-trapped with various incendiary devices and chemical devices connected to trip wires. He added that the explosives are so complex, “police could be on the scene for hours or days.”
The police used robots to examine the suspect’s residence without putting officers’ lives in danger.
Kaitlyn Fonzi, who lives in the apartment below, said that she heard loud techno-like, deep-bass reverberating music coming from Holmes’ flat around the time of the massacre. She went to check on it, but decided not to confront the owner of the flat despite the fact that the door was open.
“I’m concerned if I had opened the door, I would have set it off,” she said.
She said she believes the music was on a timer because it started about the time of the shootings.
According to the tenants, the building is quiet and populated largely by students and doctors affiliated with a nearby University of Colorado Denver medical campus.
Ben Leung, a 27-year-old pharmacy student, told local media he lives on the first floor of the same building as the suspect, James Holmes. In a phone interview Leung said only people affiliated with the University of Colorado at Denver are allowed to live in the building.
Leung said he went to bed shortly after midnight, then awoke when police in riot gear banged on his door and told him the building was being evacuated. ”At that time I had no idea what was going on,” he said.
FBI officers, Aurora police officers, and fire crews are pictured outside the Denver shooting suspect’s apartment building in Aurora Colorado, July 20, 2012 (Reuters / Jason Hatfield)
Aurora Police Department motorcycles escort a dump truck filled with sand and improvised explosive devices removed from James Holmes’ apartment July 21, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado (AFP Photo / Chip Somodevilla)