Bulldozer Rampage!

Rampage in Granby!

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. [...]

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33 Responses:

  1. legolas says:

    Unbelievable! Where do you get this stuff!?

  2. b_a_t says:

    Wow, what a man! That's the way to show discontentment with the local politics!

    Was amased in "Lethal weapon-4" by the guy with the flame thrower, thinking it's purely Hollywood stamp, but look - this dude is even more cooler :)

  3. arpad says:

    Should police cars have an RPG in their equipment now?

  4. giles says:

    This sort of thing will continue to happen as long as influential movies like Animal House remain on shelves. I guess he missed out on the "ramming speed" concept though.

  5. bikerwalla says:

    You just know someone's already got the movie rights. I, for one, cannot wait to see this on the big screen.

  6. fantasygoat says:

    "When I saw a tank-looking thing I went home."

    Probably the smartest guy in the entire town. Man, hilarious!

    The end of Western Civilization is coming, I can feel it.

  7. kiad says:


    Colombian police say they have arrested a woman for stealing an unborn baby from its mother's womb.

  8. wsxyz says:

    I'm surprised no one has commented on the cops attempting to kill the man driving the bulldozer.

    After reading several stories about the incident, everyone seems to agree that nobody was injured and, in fact, witnesses said that the driver appeared to be trying to avoid hurting people physically.

    So why where the cops using explosives and firing into the cab to try to kill the guy?

    • altamira16 says:

      I also heard that the thing about the man shooting with a gun was total hearsay.

    • aprilized says:

      it's undoubtedly a visceral reaction to the notion of being threatened and exerting this all encompasing power they have...

      ...destroy first ask questions later...

      and anyway...who doesn't like using big guns once in a while...it's fun

    • So why where the cops using explosives and firing into the cab to try to kill the guy?

      Did you miss the part where he was destroying the town in a giant armored bulldozer?

      I'm no fan of deadly force, but what else could they do? Wait for him to run out of gas? Apparently he was kept out of one area by a larger bulldozer, but in a small town I really doubt they had enough heavy equipment that could be summoned to try to contain him.

    • jlindquist says:

      Yup, it makes exactly zero sense. Destroying buildings and cars and businesses is "injurious" to people only in an economic and emotional sense. It is not an imminent threat of death or grave bodily harm, and thus deadly force is not justified. If you think otherwise, you're a dim-witted crank.

      See also: Why police are not allowed to fire on suspects fleeing in cars, like you see on television.

      Now, explosives against locations other than the cab, I can see. If you're trying to knock the bulldozer off its tracks, or damage its engine to stop it, okay. Firing into the cab, like counting to five, is right out.

    • mtnsun50 says:

      If you read the news reports, Marv, the driver of the ARMORED bulldozer had three rifles - one of them a semi-automatic .50 cal. - plus two handguns. The first business he crashed into was the concrete plant next door to his business. Marv fired several shots at the police as well as the owner of the concrete plant. The concrete plant guy has several bullet holes in his now-destroyed front-end loader to prove that poor Marv "meant no harm."

      At the other end of town, Marv shot at 15,000 gallon propane tanks and at the electrical transformers above them. No harm? Hardly. Granby might not even be on the map now had Marv hit those tanks.

      What kept him from hitting the tanks? As he drove through town knocking down buildings, he bent a piece of metal in front of his rifle barrel. The bullets he fired from the .50 cal. ricocheted away from his intended target.

  9. eqe says:

    "It's a nightmare. This is the kind of thing that happens in big cities." - Terri Hertel, co-owner of Western Guncraft

  10. solarbird says:

    It's too bad he was dead once they got the tank open. One trip to Arkham Asylum for a little training rehab and he'd have been ready for the big time!

  11. omnifarious says:

    My favorite comment... "It's a nightmare. This is the kind of thing that happens in big cities."

    *laugh* No, big cities are not lawless crime infested cesspits where no sane person would want to live. I'm sorry, but your worldview is so provincial and small-minded it's hilarious.

  12. justmealex says:

    In my former homestate this guy killed himself after the police dynamited his bulldozer and probably caused his eyes to pop out of his sockets. [cnn.com]