|Rampage In Granby|
|Friday afternoon, this strange looking contraption, which looks like it came right out of a "Road Warrior" movie, went on a rampage in my hometown of Granby, Colorado. The dude at the controls, now dubbed "Mad Marv", was a little ticked off at the town and members of the town board, over a zoning dispute. This ordeal, which lasted almost two hours, started directly behind the shop where I work. My Boss and I watched as this "Mad Max" contraption rumbled slowly down the road behind the shop. He had just torn down the concrete batch plant and an adjacent building. The cops were walking along side of him, scratching their heads, trying to figure out how the heck to stop him. Fact is, they never did, his engine finally overheated and shut down.|
|Denver Post - Sunday June 6, 2004
Granby - It took three explosive charges and an hour with a cutting torch to get inside the cab of an armored bulldozer that destroyed or damaged 13 buildings in this mountain town before grinding to a halt under a canopy of debris.
Inside, authorities found Marvin Heemeyer dead, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. However, fearing Heemeyer had left them a postmortem booby trap, authorities waited hours before using a crane to gingerly remove his body Saturday morning from his self-styled, bulletproof cab.
While there were no leftover explosives, local officials looked with horror and awe upon the machine of destruction created by Heemeyer, a 52-year-old muffler-shop owner whose anger is thought to have been fueled by a zoning dispute with the town.
The virtual tank had cameras mounted outside and three video monitors mounted inside so Heemeyer could see where he was going. It had a .50-caliber gun on the front and two smaller-caliber semi-automatic weapons, one on each side, protruding through portals. It was equipped with an air conditioner, and its hydraulics were protected by armor. Its cab was reinforced with quarter- to half-inch metal plates, with a foot of concrete between them. Inside, there were a gas mask and two handguns, said Granby Mayor Edward Wang.
"It looks like something out of a Mad Max movie, but better done," Wang said. "It's eerie. And it's huge."
The destruction wrought Friday by the 13-foot-tall bulldozer was marked by a clearly discernible trail of white bite marks that the bulldozer's tracks etched into the black pavement - and by numerous spent bullet casings, their locations marked by yellow evidence tags. Despite having exchanged what one official estimated were hundreds of rounds of fire with Heemeyer, no one else was injured, which some considered nothing short of miraculous.
More incomprehensible still was the long-simmering anger that Heemeyer appeared to harbor. Many of the buildings he targeted had been connected in some way to people who played roles in a zoning decision that allowed a concrete batch plant to be built near his muffler shop on the outskirts of town, said Tom Hale, Granby's town manager.
On Saturday, several officials visited the metal shed where Heemeyer retrofitted the bulldozer. Though Heemeyer had sold the shed to a partnership including Bob Martin, owner of a local trash company, the new owners allowed Heemeyer to lease part of the shed for storage. Welding, Martin said, wasn't part of the agreement. And while Martin and his employees worked in the building every day, they never saw Heemeyer welding the bulldozer.
"He must have been working in there at night, because we're here early and we leave late most days," Martin said.
Martin said the lease was up June 1, and there have been inquiries from potential buyers. Observers think the impending loss of the shed's use may be why Heemeyer launched his attack last week.
Duane Dailey, chairman of the Grand County Board of Commissioners, speculated that Heemeyer used a ladder to climb up under a heavy, hinged door he had fashioned at the top of the bulldozer and perhaps propped open.
He dropped the door, Dailey said, and used the bulldozer to knock down the wall of the shed and begin his trek. Traveling at what one observer estimated was a top speed of 4 or 5 mph, Heemeyer headed for the concrete plant. Dailey said he tore into the side of the plant. Witnesses told Dailey that the plant's owner, Cody Docheff, cranked up a front loader, but failed to upend the bulldozer.
The Grand County Sheriff's Office released a statement Saturday saying that Heemeyer tried to "kill two state troopers who were hiding behind a concrete wall by pushing over the wall, however the troopers escaped."
Officers from the Sheriff's Office, the Colorado State Patrol and the U.S. Forest Service, among others, pursued Heemeyer, firing weapons, as he drove the bulldozer toward town.
The bulldozer proceeded through town, eventually hitting a dozen buildings and stopping in front of a propane company to fire numerous rounds from the .50-caliber Browning semi-automatic mounted at the front. The sheriff's news release said Heemeyer was aiming at electrical transformers and large propane tanks, which ultimately were not damaged.
Heemeyer doubled back and, as black smoke and fluid poured from the bulldozer, he headed for the Gambles of Granby hardware store, owned by a member of the town Board of Trustees that approved the concrete plant. Heemeyer repeatedly hit the store, and then became stuck. The engine stopped. Soon after, the sound of a muffled shot came from the vehicle.
That's when, authorities believe, Heemeyer shot himself.
"It looks like a single gunshot wound to the head," said Rodney Johnson, Grand County sheriff, after authorities gained access to the bulldozer. "There's a handgun laying on the floor."
On Saturday, Granby was inundated with offers to help rebuild, said Wang, the mayor.
"We have very good people in this community," Wang said. "The most gratifying part is, there are a lot of people who are lining up to help us rebuild.
"This town isn't going away," he said. "This is a setback. We're going to rebuild. This is a tough town."
|Map showing layout of Granby. I spent 13 years working as Pressman for Sky Hi News. I currently work at Liberty Auto. This ordeal all started at the concrete batch plant located about 200 yards behind our shop.|
|Picture taken after they had removed the body of "Mad Marv" as he has become known here in Granby. The machine is 13 ft. high.|
|He had two well hidden camcorders on the front of his vehicle and used these monitors to see where he was going. He had no port holes to see out of, so the officers couldn't fire into his cab.|
|Picture of the 50 caliber rifle he had mounted inside. It was one of three high caliber rifles he had.|
|Picture showing some of the damage he did to the town hall. There is an equal amount of damage to the other side of the building. The crushed vehicle in the lower left, was a sheriff's dept. patrol car.|
|Mad Marv and his doomsday machine attacking the Gamble's Hardware Store. This was the beginning of the end for him. The smoke coming off his machine is actually steam. His radiator had blown at this point and while he did manage to drive it almost the length of the building, completely demolishing it, the engine died. Shortly thereafter, he shot himself.|
|A close up view of some of the massive armor he had built around the D9 bulldozer he used to wreck havoc on our beautiful little mountain town.|
Picture looking down hatch he had used to enter his massive moving fortress. The cover was so heavy, they had to use a crane to lift it. There was no way for him lift it from the inside, so obviously he had no intentions of ever coming out on his own. Notice how thick the top is.
|This is what is left of the Sky-Hi News building, where I worked as Pressman for 13 years|
|Remains of one of the buildings at batch plant behind our shop.|
|This was taken Saturday afternoon, after they had removed this behemoth from it's resting place at the rear of the Gambles Store.|
|Mad Marv and his machine, did several millions of dollars damage to our town. But it is really some kind of miracle that the only casualty, was Heemeyer himself. For that, we are extremely grateful. We can rebuild our buildings.|
|This picture shows a high powered shell exploding on the rear of the "Doomsday" machine. It literally had no effect.|