Saturday 18 November 2017

Police trying to disarm bombs

GILLIAN FLACCUS in AURORA

Police in Aurora yesterday tried for the second time to disarm the apartment of James Holmes, as he awaits his first court appearance tomorrow.

Specialist units began disarming trip wires and explosive devices "set up to kill" inside the apartment of the deranged killer, hoping to find clues to his motive without destroying key evidence.

Federal authorities detonated one small explosive and disarmed another inside the suburban Denver apartment with a 'water-shot' device that emits a shock wave and water, a law-enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, citing the ongoing investigation into the shooting rampage that killed 12 people and wounded 58.

About 11.40am local time, a fire truck raised its bucket to the window and two helmeted bomb-squad members placed a device inside.

The bucket retracted, a fire engine blasted its horn three times and the explosion went off, sending debris flying from the window into a parking lot.

Police planned to remove about 30 devices inside the apartment and an additional 30 'aerial shells', they said.

The shootings began at about 12.30am on Friday, about half-an-hour into a showing of the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, wounding 58 people.

The rampage was the deadliest shooting in Colorado since the Columbine High School massacre in April 1999 and the worst mass shooting in the US since November 2009, when 13 people were killed at Fort Hood in Texas.

James Holmes' apartment appears to have three types of explosives -- jars filled with accelerants, chemicals that would explode when mixed together, and more than 30 "improvised grenades," the official said.

The devices in Holmes' booby-trapped apartment were "set up to kill that person and that could have been a police officer executing a search warrant," Aurora police Sgt Cassidee Carlson said.

Police planned an intricate procedure to disarm the possible weapons without destroying evidence that could be in the apartment.

"We don't want to lose evidential value," Sgt Carlson said.

Federal officials said that they still hadn't determined a motive for the killings.

Sunday Independent

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