James Holmes' Booby-Trapped Apartment Revealed

Police found more than 20 explosives and incendiaries rigged to blow
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2015 1:48 PM CDT
James Holmes' Booby-Trapped Apartment Revealed
Explosives found inside the apartment of the Aurora theater shooter.   (Aurora Police Department)

Evidence released in the wake of James Holmes' sentencing last month gives a shocking look at the deadly booby-traps the 27-year-old Aurora theater shooter had placed around his Colorado apartment. ABC News reports the apartment contained black balls filled with smokeless powder and gasoline; pickle jars containing bullets, thermite, and napalm; and soda bottles full of gasoline. A fishing line connected to the doorjamb was meant to trigger a fire by knocking a thermos of glycerin into a frying pan of potassium permanganate. Holmes left loud music playing, which drew a neighbor to the door. Fortunately, she didn't open it. He also placed a remote detonator next to an RC car near the building's dumpster in the hopes someone would play with it and blow up the apartment.

"It doesn't surprise me to run across anything anywhere really," Army veteran and ATF explosives expert Gary Smith, who led the team that disarmed Holmes' apartment in the hours following his arrest, tells NBC News. "It's just a matter of time before something like that ends up here [is] kind of the way we look at it, kind of worst case scenario, you always try to think ahead." A remote-control robot was sent into the apartment to disarm most the explosives, but some had to be taken apart by hand. Five neighboring buildings were evacuated while the team worked, but in the end the apartment was cleared with no fires or explosions. Holmes was sentenced to life in prison Aug. 27 after killing 12 people during a showing of The Dark Knight Rises in 2012. (More James Holmes stories.)

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