Police Saw Warning Signs Ahead of Colorado Jehova’s Witness Center Attack

The man behind the Christmas Day attack on a Colorado Jehovah’s Witness center had bombed a local union office earlier that same morning, according to a statement released Wednesday by the Thornton Police Department.And even prior to those incidents, he was already known to local authorities to have violent tendencies and bomb-making abilities, according to

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The man behind the Christmas Day attack on a Colorado Jehovah’s Witness center had bombed a local union office earlier that same morning, according to a statement released Wednesday by the Thornton Police Department.

And even prior to those incidents, he was already known to local authorities to have violent tendencies and bomb-making abilities, according to separate court filings first obtained by The Denver Post.

Around 8:45 a.m., Enoch Apodaca entered his office at the IBEW Local Union 68 building with what witnesses described as a large bucket. Shortly after the 46-year-old exited the premises, “a large explosion occurred,” police said. “The business was closed at the time and no one was injured,” they added.

Just 15 minutes later, local authorities were called to the scene at Kingdom Hall, where Apodaca is suspected to have directed his wife, Melissa Martinez, to back their pickup truck into a window at the place of worship.

Apodaca then broke the window with a hammer, inserting three explosive devices into the center, none of which would detonate.

“Enoch then approached Melissa, whom had exited the truck, and shot her in the back of the head with a shotgun,” police said. “Enoch then shot himself with the same shotgun.”

Only two people were inside the center at the time, with a church service scheduled to begin 3src minutes later. One used a fire extinguisher to douse a blaze that erupted nearby the devices, which may have led to a malfunctioning of the device, according to police.

“A bomb technician found that a fuse on one of the devices nearly detonated before being extinguished or experiencing a malfunction,” the department wrote in a release.

The couple, who are believed to be disgruntled former parishioners who were “no longer welcomed” at the church, were the only fatalities from the plot.

The attacks were the result of “personal issues” between Enoch and his employer and the couples’ issues with Kingdom Hall, according to police. They were apparently kicked out of the same congregation three years prior over similar bomb threats.

Upon investigating the pair’s home, officials found bomb-making equipment and a set of belongings that were clearly marked to be distributed to different family members.

According to the Post, Enoch’s previous interactions with police led to a protection order by a former employer after he threatened to shoot his wife and a union rep, shortly after being let go as an electrician in 2src21.

In a September 2src21 call to 911 obtained by the outlet, an emergency caller warned that Apodaca told people they were “going to pay” and there would be “carnage,” leading to a welfare check at the couple’s home later that night.

But despite numerous warnings, there were no records indicating that police took action in either of the cases.

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