Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Suspect's home booby-trapped

AURORA, Colo. — Colorado firefighters Friday began monitoring an apartment building for gases in an effort to determine what chemicals one of its residents might have used to booby trap the place.

The resident, James Holmes, 24, is the suspect in a mass shooting early Friday at a movie theater about 4 miles away.

"It's a pretty extensive booby trap. We're not sure what it's attached to. There are trip wires. There are three containers, and we don't know what's inside," said Chris Henderson, deputy Aurora fire chief.

If there is a detonation that causes a fire, firefighters will fight it from the outside of the building, he said.

The building and several around it were evacuated.

Kaitlyn Fonzi, 20, a graduate student at University Hospital, said she lives in the apartment below Holmes' residence.

About midnight, Fonzi said she heard techno-like, deep-bassed reverberating music coming from the unit above. She went upstairs to the apartment and put her hand on the door handle. She felt it was unlocked, but she didn't know if he was there and decided not to confront him.

"I yelled out and told him I was going to call the cops and went back to my apartment," she said.

Fonzi called police, who told her they were busy with a shooting and did not have time to respond to a noise disturbance. She said she was surprised to learn later that the apartment was booby trapped and was shaken by the news.

"I'm concerned if I had opened the door, I would have set it off," she said.

Fonzi said she had seen the man one or two times before but never talked with him.

She said she believes the music was on a timer because it started about the time of the shootings.

Police have searched apartments and broken out windows at the building, but Fonzi said she doesn't know the condition of her apartment or car.

When asked about plans to possibly try to detonate the device with a robot, she said, "It's not an ideal situation, but if that has to be done to keep safe, then it has to be done."

University of Colorado pharmacy student Ben Lung, 27, who lives two floors down from the suspect, said he and other residents were evacuated around 2 a.m. by SWAT officers armed with rifles.

"I heard a loud crash. It sounded like an air conditioner falling to the ground. About 10 minutes later, I heard police knock on my door. Police were armed with assault rifles, and they brought us outside the apartment building and started questioning us," Lung said.

Lung said a few residents upstairs had called police around midnight and complained about loud music coming from the suspect's apartment.

Michelle Thuis, 26, who lives in an apartment near the entrance to the building, said police woke her up when they stormed in around 2:30 a.m.

"I heard them breaking down the front door. I called the police on them, then I looked out and saw it was the police," she said.

Thuis described the building as quiet and populated largely by students and doctors affiliated with a nearby University of Colorado Denver medical campus.

The American Red Cross set up a shelter at Aurora Central High School for people evacuated from their residences because of the police search and monitoring.


Philippines checks if key Malaysian extremist survived siege

The Philippine military is validating intelligence that a Malaysian militant leader survived the defeat of an Islamic State group-linked siege and is helping restart efforts to establish an extremist alliance.
Updated: 4 minutes ago

Behavioral healthcare center worker charged in teen's death

Authorities in Virginia say an employee at a behavioral healthcare center has been charged in connection with the death of a teenager who was a patient at the facility
Updated: 7 minutes ago
The Latest: Cornet into 3rd round, ends Goerges' streak

The Latest: Cornet into 3rd round, ends Goerges' streak

Alize Cornet has beaten No. 12-seeded Julia Goerges 6-4, 6-3 to reach the third round of the Australian Open
Updated: 12 minutes ago

Sri Lanka reinstated ban on selling alcohol to women

A senior official says Sri Lanka's government has reinstated a ban on women buying alcohol and being employed in places where the drinks are produced and sold.
Updated: 14 minutes ago

Saudi Arabia to transfer $2 billion after urgent Yemen plea

Saudi Arabia to transfer $2 billion to Yemen following appeal to save the local currency from 'complete collapse'
Updated: 15 minutes ago

Swedish skier Pietilae Holmner retires with back problem

Six-time skiing world championships medalist Maria Pietilae Holmner of Sweden is retiring because of a chronic back problem
Updated: 18 minutes ago
A closer look at graduation rates. How did your school do?

A closer look at graduation rates. How did your school do?

Let's start by acknowledging that graduation rates aren't the only measure of a high school.Far from it. The quality of the faculty and administration are key. So are intangibles like school tradition and spirit. Somewhere in there, you have to inclu...
Updated: 20 minutes ago

Slovenia police find 20 migrants after van crashes

Police in Slovenia say they have found 20 migrants in a van that crashed after entering the country illegally from Croatia
Updated: 21 minutes ago
How Urban Meyer helped J.T. Barrett prepare for the NFL draft

How Urban Meyer helped J.T. Barrett prepare for the NFL draft

ST. PETERSBURG – Quarterback J.T. Barrett is one of the most accomplished players preparing for Saturday's East-West Shrine Game at Tropicana Field.He's the only three-time captain in Ohio State history, and he set at least 37 school/Big Ten re...
Updated: 21 minutes ago
German center-left leaders push for talks with Merkel

German center-left leaders push for talks with Merkel

Leaders of Germany's Social Democrats are lobbying hard for party members to vote this weekend for opening coalition talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel's Union bloc
Updated: 23 minutes ago