Police have apparently detonated a home-made booby trap explosive that was keeping them from investigating the Colorado shooter’s apartment.
A controlled explosion by a bomb squad on Saturday appears to have made it safe for police to enter the booby-trapped apartment of the man suspected in Friday’s mass shooting at a Denver-area movie theater, police said.
Police were undertaking the delicate task of disabling what they described as sophisticated explosives at the Aurora, Colorado, apartment of suspect James Holmes, who officials believe booby trapped his home before killing 12 people and injuring more than 50 others at the theater early on Friday.
The bomb squad used a robot to place a tube — known as a “water shot” — near an explosive device in the apartment. The water shot was then detonated to disable the explosive.
Photos of the apartment, taken by a camera raised up to the third-floor window, showed jars of ammunition on the floor and “things that look like mortar rounds,” Aurora Police Chief Dan Oates said. There were also bottles filled with an unknown liquid as well as what appeared to be trip wires laid out across the apartment, he said.
Aurora Police spokeswoman Sergeant Cassidee Carlson said the device had clearly been “set up to kill.”
“We have been successful in disabling a second triggering device,” she said. “Although not certain, we are hopeful we have eliminated the remaining major threats. We will not know this until we enter the apartment.”
“There still remains all kinds of hazards inside the apartment,” Carlson said. “We will remain here for hours to collect evidence and mitigate those hazards.”
Police evacuated five nearby buildings and created a perimeter of several blocks around Holmes’ apartment, the top-floor unit of a three-story red brick building in a run-down section of Aurora.
How did a young man, described as a loner, acquire the expertise to rig a sophisticated booby trap? It took authorities more than a day to figure it out, so one might assume that the set-up was a step beyond a crude, unschooled effort to rig the apartment. Holmes was also described as “brilliant” so perhaps it’s not such a mystery after all.
In a weird turn to the case, police are investigating a popular sex-dating site for clues about James Holmes and his motives. There appear to be some similarities with Holmes, and a picture on the site shows a man who looks like Holmes with red hair — the same color police said the suspect dyed his hair before carrying out the attack.
And then there is this:
“Holmes” — who used the screen name classicjimbo — included a cryptic message on the top of the profile which reads, “Will you visit me in prison?”
A hoax put on the site after the massacre? Or a chilling preview to a tragedy?