AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – A man who lives in the apartment building next to the one mass murder suspect James Holmes did in Aurora learned found out this week how much danger he was in while the movie theatre massacre was going on a few miles away.
On the second day of the pre-trial hearing for Holmes an FBI agent described how the 25-year-old suspect rigged a series of explosive devices in his apartment, located three and a half miles from the scene of the murders at the Century 16 movie theatre.
FBI bomb technician Garrett Gumbinner said Tuesday in court that Holmes left his music blaring and the door unlocked. His doorknob was connected to a fishing line designed to knock over chemical explosives and ignite his petroleum soaked carpet.
Luckily, no one came to his door.
“What goes through your mind when you hear police describe this intricate system of bombs and booby traps?” CBS4’s Tom Mustin asked Roberto Martinez, who has been trying to forget the night of the shootings since the massacre happened on July 20.
“Like I said, we were real lucky it didn’t go off,” Martinez said.
Holmes’ refrigerator, and a remote control car outside were also rigged to explode.
At 4 a.m. on July 20 Martinez answered his door and came face to face with a SWAT officer bearing some stunning news.
Martinez said the police officer told him: “You all need to evacuate the building, they think a guy booby trapped the building next door.”
After evacuations were in place in the neighborhood police spent many hours working to undo the booby traps.
And as police broke through Holmes’ window during the daylight hours, Martinez realized how lucky he and his nephew were.
“We thought about what if the bomb would have went off, us being here at the bottom level,” he said. “It could have crushed us. But it wasn’t our time and it wasn’t meant to be.”
During testimony Gumbinner mentioned that had the explosives detonated, the entire apartment would have exploded or caught fire.
“I just feel lucky and blessed,” Martinez said. “I pray everyday that nothing happens to my building again.”