A 52-year-old welder nursing a grudge against the town fathers and driving a bulldozer converted into a war machine ripped the heart of this high-country ranching town from its foundations Friday.
Among the structures destroyed or heavily damaged in a relentless 90-minute rampage were Granby's town hall and library, a bank, the town's newspaper, an electric cooperative building, Gambles Store, an excavating business and a house owned by the town's former mayor, as well as a concrete plant adjacent to the business of the man believed responsible for the bizarre assault.
Police fired away during the frenzy of destruction, to no avail.
"He's put armored plates all around it and it's impenetrable," said business owner Terri Hertel, her voice trembling as gunfire rattled in the background. "Armor-piercing bullets won't go through it. He's destroying the town of Granby."
All the buildings had a connection to a heated 2000 zoning dispute, which involved the rezoning of land adjacent to the muffler shop of Marvin John Heemeyer, the man authorities identified as responsible for the devastation.
During Heemeyer's nightmarish attack, he shot repeatedly at a number of huge propane tanks at a distributorship with a .50-caliber weapon, authorities said. The apparent attempt to trigger a massive explosion failed.
The episode came to an end about 4:30 p.m. Friday, when Heemeyer's self-styled assault vehicle came to a halt in the attack on Gambles Store and was cornered by emergency responders driving a road grader.
It was not immediately known if Heemeyer was still alive inside the vehicle. Unofficial reports said he had welded the vehicle's door shut.
Jim Holahan, director of emergency services for Grand County, said at one point deputies from the sheriff's special response team were on top of the 53.8-ton Caterpillar D9 Bulldozer, firing at Heemeyer through its jury-rigged viewport. [...]
Rampage in Granby!
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