GRANBY, Colo. (CBS4)– On June 4, 2004, a bulldozer turned makeshift tank all but destroyed the down of Granby. It’s a day many Coloradans remember and one Luan Akin won’t soon forget.
“It’s a personal attachment to it,” Akin said. “The thing that alarmed me the most was when we got word that he had pushed his way into the library, city hall building and there had been a lot of kids in that building just moments earlier.”
Akin worked for CBS4 at the time as the reporter in Copter4. When word got out an armored bulldozer was mowing down parts of Granby, she was the first to cover the demolition from above.
“What struck me the most, then and now, is that you have this big, powerful machine going super slow motion and nothing could stop it,” Akin told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann. “Nothing.”
Only Copter4 was overhead at the time of the rampage. As the bulldozer slowly but aggressive took apart the mountain town, Akin kept Colorado informed.
“It really was like a play-by-play. ‘And now he’s going down here… and he appears to be heading into the propane yard and that’s troubling,’” she recalled of her report. “It was clear what he wanted to do.”
Now her play-by-play and view from the helicopter are playing out in the new documentary “TREAD: The True Story of Marvin Heemeyer.” The film dives into the story of Heemeyer, who build the so-called “killdozer,” to get back at the people who had somehow wronged him.
“I felt very bad for the town because that was an assault on pretty much everyone in that town,” Akin said.
No one was hurt that day, but the rampage only stopped when Heemeyer ended his own life. Nearly two decades later, Akin said she’s grateful that she and her Copter4 crew were there.
“I’m glad we three in the helicopter were able to do our job that day, just the way it should’ve been done,” she said.
Akin said she will likely see the documentary, now showing in a handful of Colorado theaters and on demand Feb. 28.