Pipe bomb-style devices thrown into Jehovah’s Witnesses hall in murder-suicide

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The husband and wife killed in an apparent murder-suicide at a Jehovah’s Witness chapel in Thornton on Christmas morning did not enter the building, a police spokesman said Monday.

But police believe either the husband or wife smashed a window at a Jehovah’s Witnesses Kingdom Hall and threw three “pipe bombs” incendiary bombs into the building as the incident unfolded, said officer Joe. Walker said.

The device did not explode, and there was only one person in the building at the time.

“None of them seemed to come out,” he said. “I don’t want to think what would have happened if they had done that.”

Investigators believe the husband killed his wife and then himself in the parking lot next to the chapel around 9 a.m. Sunday. The dead couple, whose identities have not been publicly disclosed, were former members of the Kingdom Hall congregation meeting at 951 Milky Way.

Walker said investigators are still working to determine whether the husband or wife broke the window and threw a pipe bomb-like device inside.

“It’s not clear yet,” he said. “It doesn’t seem clear what was going on between the two, so it’s hard to say.”

The first police officers arrived on the scene at 9:04 am. They were asked to report a structural fire in the chapel. However, upon arrival, he discovers an already shot victim in the parking lot.

“It’s as if[the shooting]happened when they were trying to get there, or had already happened,” Walker said.

He did not know who called the police about the reported building fire in the chapel. Other congregations arrived earlier than the congregation’s scheduled 9:30 a.m. meeting, and some witnessed some of the incident, but Walker did not know when they arrived or what they saw. I didn’t know exactly what it was.

Police, fire and EMS response can be seen outside the Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation at 951 Milky Way on Sunday, December 25, 2022. (Photo Credit: Thornton Police Department)
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