Police Take Cautious Approach Entering Colo. Shooting Suspect's Apartment
KREX News Room
AURORA, Colo.- Bomb experts hope to soon enter the booby trapped apartment of the suspect in Friday's mass shooting at a suburban Denver movie theater.
Aurora police say the first goal is to make the area safe by removing the trip wire, which may include a controlled detonation that causes a loud boom and possibly a fire.
Authorities will alert people before that happens.
A law enforcement source told CBS News that investigators believe there are some 30 aerial shells (fireworks) commercially legally available for purchase. They are the size of softballs black in color and made of mostly rubber and investigators suspect the suspect may have filled them with smoke less powder. Depending on how he packaged it and how adept he was they could detonate or just burn.
The trip wire will be rendered safe remotely. They will put a water device near trip wire to help with reducing thermal effect.
The apartment is about 800 square feet.
The devices will probably be put in dump trucks filled with sand and transported to a remote area where it will be counter charged or burned.
The entry, rendering safe is an enormously dangerous mission. About 100 personnel on scene. Fire, ATF, FBI and bomb techs from Denver and Aurora. They will go into with full bomb gear.
Police say they don't have a time frame because they want to be careful and not rush.
FBI agents and police discovered it was booby trapped with trip wires when they used a camera on a pole to look inside. Firefighters are monitoring the building for gases in an effort to determine what chemicals 24-year-old James Holmes might have used in his traps. Photos of the apartment appear to show jars full of ammunition and liquid.
On Friday night, police went door to door notifying families of the victims. Twelve people died and 58 were injured in the attack. Eleven of the wounded are listed in critical condition.
Mourners are remembering the victims as names begin to emerge. A memorial Mass was held at the Queen of Peace Roman Catholic Church in Aurora and a makeshift memorial of candles and flowers has sprung up near the theater.
The suspect's stellar academic record, apparent shy demeanor and lack of a criminal background is making the attack even more difficult to fathom.