Marvin Heemeyer

killdozer

Marvin Heemeyer (1951 – 2004) was a welder and an automobile muffler repair shop owner. Outraged over the outcome of a zoning dispute, he armored a bulldozer with layers of steel and concrete and used it to demolish the town hall, a former judge’s home, and other buildings in Granby, Colorado.

The rampage ended when the bulldozer became stuck, and after a standoff with law enforcement agencies, Heemeyer killed himself with a handgun. He had been feuding with town officials, particularly over fines for violating city ordinances and a zoning dispute regarding a concrete factory constructed opposite to his muffler shop that caused his business to fail. Heemeyer took about a year and a half to prepare for his rampage.

The machine used in the incident was a Komatsu D355A bulldozer fitted with makeshift armor plating covering the cabin, engine and parts of the tracks. In places, the vehicle’s armor was over one foot thick, consisting of concrete sandwiched between sheets of steel to make ad-hoc composite armor. This made the machine impervious to small arms fire and resistant to explosives; three external explosions and over 200 rounds of firearm ammunition fired at the bulldozer had no effect on it.

For visibility, the bulldozer was fitted with several video cameras linked to two monitors mounted on the vehicle’s dashboard. The cameras were protected on the outside by 3-inch shields of bullet-resistant plastic. Onboard fans and an air conditioner were used to keep Heemeyer cool while driving and compressed air nozzles were fitted to blow dust away from the video cameras. Food, water and life support were present in the almost airtight cabin. Heemeyer had no intention of leaving the cabin once he entered; the hatch was permanently sealed.

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