FBI Technician Details Booby-Trapped Bomb at Aurora Shooting Suspect’s Home

Improvised napalm and thermite were used in the unexploded bomb, FBI specialist says

An FBI bomb technician, testifying on the second day of a preliminary hearing in the case against Colorado theater shooting suspect James Holmes, said Holmes had devised a complex — and potentially deadly — booby-trap bomb system at his apartment.

Garrett Gumbinner said Holmes' system included improvised napalm and thermite, the Associated Press reported.

Gumbinner also said there were three different ignition systems in Holmes apartment. When the authorities got into the apartment, they found a container filled with glycerin near a skillet full of another toxic chemical. Mixing the two components would create flames and sparks. A trip wire linked the glycerin container to the front door. 

When arrested outside the theater after the shooting spree, Holmes told officers that he had booby-trapped his apartment and left loud music playing in hopes of diverting first responders from the site of the shooting spree. He told them he had rigged his apartment to explode or catch fire in order to send resources to the apartment rather than the theater, Gumbinner testified. 

Also read: Colorado Theater Shooting: Accused Gunman James Holmes Bought Ticket 12 Days Earlier

In what is expected to be a weeklong hearing at the Arapahoe County Court House in Centennial, Colo., prosecutors are trying to show that Holmes acted in a premeditated manner in the July 20 attack at the theater in Aurora that left 12 dead and dozens wounded.  Prosecutors maintain Holmes should stand trail for the attack that occurred during a showing of “The Dark Knight Rises,” while his defense attorneys say he is mentally ill.  At the end of the hearing, Judge William Sylvester will decide whether the case can go to trial.