Man who killed wife in Jehovah’s Witnesses hall suspected in earlier explosion

A Colorado man who planted undetonated explosives in a Jehovah’s Witnesses worship hall before killing himself and his wife over Christmas is suspected of having caused an earlier explosion in another building, according to the police.

Thornton Police have revealed more details about gunman Enoch Apodaca’s actions leading up to the apparent murder-suicide on Sunday morning, including how he entered the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 68 building with a bucket only for an explosion to go off shortly after he leaves. .

No one was injured in the blast as the building was closed and empty, police said.

A year before the shooting and explosion, a representative from Apodaca’s former job at the Sturgeon Electric Company said Apodaca threatened a union representative to shoot his wife and the union representative, then said that he would “sue those responsible” after he and his wife lost their jobs.

Enoch Apodaca, who planted explosive devices in a Jehovah’s Witness worship hall in Denver, killed his wife and himself on December 25, 2022.
Thornton Police Department

The startling charge, first reported by the Denver Post, came in a filing for a protective order that also said Apodaca was fired in June 2021, though it’s unclear why.

Apodaca, 46, and his wife, Melissa Martinez, 44, then reached the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Thornton around 9 a.m. Sunday, where Apodaca asked his wife to back a truck up to a window before smashing the glass with a hammer, the police told me.

He then planted explosive devices inside, police say, before shooting Martinez in the back of the head with a shotgun and then killing himself.

A member of the Adams County Sheriff's Office works near the scene at a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in Thornton, Colorado on December 25, 2022.
A member of the Adams County Sheriff’s Office works near the scene at a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Thornton, Colorado on December 25, 2022.
Reuters

Only two worshipers were inside when the explosive devices were placed there, police said. One of the devices appeared to start a fire but was quickly extinguished with a fire extinguisher, Thornton police said.

None of the devices exploded, but a bomb technician reported that one nearly did before it malfunctioned or went out, police said.

The investigation also indicated that Apodaca and Martinez were former members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation, and the night before the shooting, Apodaca expressed interest in returning, police said.

Enoch Apodaca and his wife, Melissa Martinez, arrived at the Kingdom Hall around 9 a.m. before he shot his wife in the back of the head.
Enoch Apodaca and his wife, Melissa Martinez, arrived at the Kingdom Hall around 9 a.m. before he shot his wife in the back of the head.
Google Maps

He was invited to speak to the Kingdom Hall elders.

No explosives were found in the couple’s home, and instead personal effects were apparently laid out and marked for specific family members to receive.

The Denver Post also reported Wednesday that police in a nearby Colorado town had received seven calls to respond to Apodaca’s home since September 2021. One of the calls was reportedly on September 13, 2021 warning police that Apodaca was threatening violence, used drugs and withdrew from his family. after the couple lost their jobs.

With post wires

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