Rampaging Bulldozer! Would a .50 have helped?


June 4, 2004, 09:54 PM
Rampage in Granby (http://rockymountainnews.com/drmn/state/article/0,1299,DRMN_21_2939053,00.html)

Rampage in Granby
By Associated Press
June 4, 2004

GRANBY, Colo. - An armed man barricaded inside a fortified bulldozer went on a rampage Friday, firing shots and knocking down buildings as he plowed down the streets of this Colorado town.

It was not immediately known whether anyone had been injured.

"He's got gun turrets, he's even got the tracks covered up," witness Scott Schaffer told KUSA-TV. Another resident, Judy Craig, told the station she heard heavy damage was done to the town library and city hall.

Gov. Bill Owens alerted the National Guard and was prepared to send troops to Granby if requested, but local authorities had not asked for that help, Owens spokesman Dan Hopkins said.

William Hertel, owner of High Altitude Audio, said a man he did not know drove by his business in the bulldozer at mid-afternoon. He said the machine took out a wall of the library and part of a new bank building.

He took out the trees and light pole in front of Hertel's Main Street business as he drove back and forth through the town.

"I was up on the roof when he came by. I got down and got my wife and kids out of the back of the building," Hertel told The Associated Press. He said he had heard numerous gun shots.

Lurlene Curran, the Grand County manager, said to her knowledge no one had been hurt. She said at least five buildings had been damaged.

"The piece of equipment is so big it's hard to stop," she said. "We're doing everything we can to stop this chaos."

Granby, a town of about 2,200 at nearly 8,000 feet, is about 50 miles west of Denver. Jefferson County officials said their SWAT team had been called in to help.

The bulldozer knocked out natural gas service to City Hall and a cement plant, Xcel Energy spokesman Mark Stutz. He said one truck and a wall of the utility's service center had been damaged.
That's it, at the next gunshow I'm buying some AP ammo. And I better start saving up for that .50 BMG! :what:

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cracked butt
June 4, 2004, 10:01 PM
That's it, at the next gunshow I'm buying some AP ammo. And I better start saving up for that .50 BMG!

I'm saving up for a buldozer and a pile of steel plates.:evil:

June 4, 2004, 10:14 PM
It depends on the type of steel. If he used a mild steel, ordinary .223 should've perforated it like Swiss cheese. If he had access to harder stuff, 30-06 AP wouldn't have been enough.

Add a 750 grain FMJ to the situation, and it ends differently

Most PDs have enough trouble authorizing AR-15s for patrol use, and I know that Denver PD has at least one .50 out at the airport. The cops were simply outmatched by this guy's foresight.

Kodiak AK
June 4, 2004, 10:15 PM

Still don't know what kind of gun he has.

Don Gwinn
June 4, 2004, 10:34 PM
Is this the same nutbar who was bulldozing defensive earthworks on his property last year so he could shoot it out with the Sherriff's Department over a zoning question? Something about being allowed to have several trailers and school modulars on his plot. . . . . the guy Stanley was trying to get volunteers to form a militia to go fight for?

It all fits. . . . :uhoh:

June 4, 2004, 10:55 PM
No, the "nutbar" that was willing to shoot it over having his property seized for a zoning misunderstanding was from Michigan. Kyle Barkley.

However, yes, Rick Stanley lives in Colorado. Did you see Jim March's post in L&P before you wrote that? Two people in the firearms community immediately thinking Stanley when they hear about a nut in a bulldozer armed is a little... odd.

June 4, 2004, 11:14 PM
They just needed Mel Gibson and some 9mm "Cop Killers." They make your Beretta just as good as a .50 BMG. I saw it on TV, so it must be true.

Zak Smith
June 4, 2004, 11:27 PM
50 AP will blow chunks through AR500 plating. I question whether regular FMJ would.


June 5, 2004, 12:02 AM
You don't need a .50, you just need someone good with a rifle.

If he's shooting out, it's a cinch there are holes for him to do so. Holes work both ways. I'm guessing that the holes are at least big enough for him to sight and shoot through.

Get a good SWAT guy and he should be able to hide at a safe distance and put bullets through even a small hole with great regularity.

Bad thing about armor. It keeps things out, but it also keeps them IN. I suspect even a single rifle bullet bouncing off the armor from the inside would make things very, VERY unpleasant in there even if it didn't actually hit the guy on the way to the opposite wall.

June 5, 2004, 12:56 AM
The article says gunman first, most of the damage was done with a dozer, but they seem to be stressing the firearms/armed aspect!

Do you think the folks are going to remember the dozer or the guns?

These are the ones that the pols exploit.

June 5, 2004, 03:05 AM
KUSA link (http://www.kusa.com/acm_news.aspx?OSGNAME=KUSA&IKOBJECTID=f1b7b1de-0abe-421a-00b2-969a8d1d9ea3&TEMPLATEID=0c76dce6-ac1f-02d8-0047-c589c01ca7bf) GRAND COUNTY - An armed man, driving a piece of heavy equipment, destroyed several buildings in the town of Granby Friday afternoon. Witnesses said he was using the re-tooled Caterpillar bulldozer like an armored vehicle, crashing into buildings.
Eye-witness Scott Schaffer was just a half block from the armored bulldozer when he talked to 9NEWS. 9NEWS at 4 p.m. June 4, 2004.
Eye-witness Judy Craig talks to 9NEWS from Granby. 9NEWS at 4 p.m. June 4, 2004.
County Emergency Manager Jim Holahan said the rampage started around 2:00 p.m. at a local concrete plant. After tearing down the concrete plant, the Caterpillar moved down U.S. 40, or Main Street Granby, plowing into a an electrical cooperative owned by Xcel Energy, a building that houses the town hall and library, the Sky-Hi newspaper building and Gamble's store. There were no reports of injuries.

About three hours after the first assault, the armored vehicle finally got stuck halfway inside a corrugated metal warehouse. Holahan said another large piece of equipment was used to block its escape. Police and sharpshooters surrounded the vehicle.

Holahan identified the man driving the Caterpillar as 52-year-old Marvin Heemeyer. Authorities did not say whether he was still alive.

Another source told 9NEWS that Heemeyer was involved in a zoning dispute with the city about three years ago.

Holahan said that the Jefferson County bomb squad was on scene. A Granby radio station was reporting that there were concerns that the vehicle might be booby-trapped.

Lurline Curran, Grand County manager, said the Caterpillar moved methodically from west to east, demolishing, or trying to demolish certain structures. Holahan said the driver was also firing from the vehicle with a 50-calibre weapon. He said several propane tanks were hit with bullets, but didn't explode.

Holahan said the Caterpillar had been re-tooled with steel and concrete to make it virtually impenetrable.

Scott Schaffer spoke by cell phone to 9NEWS when the armored vehicle was just a block away.

"He drove through a cement plant, wiped out town hall, took out the newspaper office," said Schaffer. Schaffer said that the town hall building didn't completely collapse, but the other two buildings did.

William Hertel, owner of High Altitude Audio, on Main Street saw the drama unfold from the roof of his building. "When he came this way, I really panicked," said Hertel. "I've never seen anything quite like this."

Another witness said that at one point an officer jumped on top of the vehicle and fired shot after shot against it, without any effect.

Video from Sky 9 showed several collapsed buildings that looked like they'd been hit by a tornado.

Tom Hale, Granby Town Manager, said the zoning dispute dated back to when Heemeyer owned a muffler business located next to the concrete plant. Hale said town trustees ruled in favor of the plant, and when Heemeyer appealed the decision to district court, the judge sided with the town.

He said that at a later point, Heemeyer was fined $2,500 for violations at his muffler shop.

Hale said that Heemeyer was clearly targeting buildings on Friday. "They were all properties where there were people who either worked there, that were affiliated with this decision, or the town itself," said Hale.

Police evacuated residents in the area as the rampage began. A detour was set up around town.

Granby is a town of 1,500, north of Winter Park, near Rocky Mountain National Park.

Gov. Bill Owens was planning to visit the town Friday night to help assess the damage and see what other help was needed.

He was apparently using a .50 caliber gun. I hope that isn't true. So far, we've been able to say that none have been used in a crime.
He was also shooting at propane tanks, so a big explosion was obviously a goal.

June 5, 2004, 04:11 AM


June 5, 2004, 04:12 AM
From The Desk of Agent Schmuckatelli...

Dear THRers,


Agent S-

June 5, 2004, 05:34 AM
Looks like they tried to blast a hole in the armour with explosives.
When that didn't work, they should have done what you use on tanks;
molotov coctails.
It would be hard to believe that there was no holes in the armour at all, as he obviously had to bread.
Burning gas running around in the engine compartment will also destroy hydraluic lines etc that are essential to a machine like that.

Mil Novecientos Once
June 5, 2004, 07:52 AM
Man in Bulldozer Rampage Found Dead (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=519&ncid=718&e=1&u=/ap/20040605/ap_on_re_us/bulldozer_rampage)

June 5, 2004, 08:00 AM
Sounds like another "Carl Drega" to me. Eminent domain used by the city against one property owner for the benefit of another property owner. Sounds like the sheep are beginning to turn on the wolves. I read on another board that a friend of his said he had welded himself into the cab.

June 5, 2004, 08:17 AM
One officer, later identified as Trainor, was perched on top, firing shot after shot into the top and once dropping an explosive down the exhaust pipe.

"He just kept shooting," Moore said. "The dozer was still going. He threw what looked like a flash-bang down the exhaust. It didn't do a thing."

DUH, can somone explain what this cop was trying to do?

"Gunfire was just ringing out everywhere," said Sandra Tucker, who saw the bulldozer begin the rampage from her office on Main Street. "It sounded to me like an automatic rifle, firing about every second."

Sorry Sanrda, Auto fires alot faster than that.

OK, that is it! I demand they ban all dozers (who needs a dozer anyway, besides, it's for the children) ban all welders, only criminals need welders, and by all means, ban armor plating over 1/4 inch thick, no one buy the military needs armor anyway.

See how simple this all could have been avoided :)

June 5, 2004, 09:51 AM
I am sick and tired of this eminent domain crap. People work their whole lives to build up businesses, or homes filled with memories, just to have the government come in and say "Sorry, we're going to bulldoze everything you've had so we can put a mall here. You don't have a choice, we're taking your land, here's some money for your trouble."

He obviously went about things the wrong way, to put it mildly. But if the situation is similar to what I described above, then he gave the city back a taste of what it would do to him. Still doesn't make it right, but desperate men do desperate things.

I won't pass judgement on this guy until I find out more about what this 'zoning dispute' was about.

June 5, 2004, 10:34 AM
Eminent domain has been grossly distorted. Originally it was for 'the public good' not the good of corporations or even for a tax base for the city . It ment a highway or bridge for all the public , not a factory or mall for their profit or for a tax base .

June 5, 2004, 10:59 AM
I imagine that you can shoot OUT of a much smaller hole than you can expect a sniper to HIT on a moving bouncing machine.

And unless you were exactly perpendiculer to the opening...well.....you get the idea...pretty low percentage shot

But hey....knock yourself out...you might get lucky:scrutiny:

It would certainly feel better to be shooting!

June 5, 2004, 11:38 AM
And just think ... anyone can just walk into a Caterpillar dealer and buy a D-9 bulldozer - no background check or anything:what:

We need to do something about these assault tractors flooding the streets :rolleyes:

June 5, 2004, 11:49 AM
A friend of mine's father is involved in an Eminent Domain dispute with Duncanville. Seems that Costco uses ED to secure land for its clubs. The loophole is that Costco shows the city that having a business that will generate millions in taxes is better for the "public good" than the little house and barn that's there now. He'll most likely lose. He can't even afford to fight it. If I was a single old guy with no kids, nothing but the piece of property I'd owned for close to 30 years, you'd see me on the news. I'd be very inclined to degrade, humiliate, or kill the members of the town council that allowed it to happen, and then I'd hole up in my house and eventually die from the JBTs kicking in my door.

This episode, if it's actually ED related, would possibly bring about ED reform if the news actually reported the whole story. Unfortunately, they firgure an armored bulldozer and gunfire is better news than people getting screwed by the government.

June 5, 2004, 12:16 PM
If they had explosives, why didn't they just blow a track off?

I wish the news would report a little more about the reason this guy was driven mad. It appears that it may be quite interesting and something teh general public should know more about.

June 5, 2004, 12:24 PM
Now, I wonder where he got that idea from...


He forgot about the tank support though. :scrutiny:


June 5, 2004, 01:26 PM
Interesting that they say 50 caliber weapon and not 50 caliber rifle.

Is it possible they're talking about a pistol chambered in 500 S&W?

June 5, 2004, 02:06 PM
From FoxNews:

Holahan said Heemeyer was armed with a .50-caliber weapon but appeared to be deliberately avoiding injuring anyone during the rampage, which began Friday at about 3 p.m. No other injuries were reported.

Hopefully since he didn't actually shoot at anyone there won't be as much heat from the gun aspect. Could have been a .50 desert eagle or a S&W .500. I really don't see how he could manuever a Barrett or some such other large rifle inside the confines of that bulldozer. :confused:

June 5, 2004, 02:17 PM
Maybe it's just me, but I always wonder when I see this sort of stuff in the movies or on the news why nobody ever seems to think of putting a few rounds through the RADIATOR.

Believe me, gang: when you let the coolant out, that engine WILL overheat. And when it does it's going to seize-up and stop running at some soon-to-be-discovered point.

When the engine stops, the vehicle does too. QED.

Just a thought.

June 5, 2004, 02:34 PM
You occasionally see threads where someone asks if it's time to start the revolution, or 'what would it take to start the revolution?' type things.

I guess for this particular guy, we know the answer.

I kind of have to agree with TechBrute...I guess it's a good thing I have a wife and daughter to keep me grounded.


June 5, 2004, 02:44 PM
Hi, Determined S.O.B. tho wasn't he ! Not that I condone that type of response, but I bet the next small town B.S. fight between 2 or more parties this will have to cross there minds ! Bye the way I am not allowed on any property own by Motorola ( enough said ) ..........WVleo

June 5, 2004, 02:46 PM
Yeah, when they mentioned .50 I immediately thought Desert Eagle. it's kind of awkward shooting yourself with a .50 bmg that has a 26' barrel...

June 5, 2004, 02:53 PM
The ".50 caliber" weapon will probably turn out to be a .38 special or Mark II Rimfire. But that is not as exciting and does not make a good story.

This just in..... we are getting a correction now from Geraldo; "The man was found with a 50MM handgun not a .50 caliber as last mentioned". "You know I spent a lot of time in the gulf and I know a 50MM when I see it".............

June 5, 2004, 02:58 PM
The man had it right and this was 100% justified. Because the only thing that will deter tyranny in the end is force.....now, if only we could all get bulldozers. :rolleyes:

June 5, 2004, 03:13 PM
For those of you who have BearShare, Kazaa or other file-sharing tool, look for:

Heywood Banks: If I Had a Bulldozer

I think the guy listened to this song... darn music influencing people!!

June 5, 2004, 03:18 PM
Looks like it is time for BATFE to expand to include the licensing of welding machines and welders. :scrutiny:

Not as impressive as the guy that stole the tank and took it on a test drive through town a few years ago.

June 5, 2004, 03:52 PM
Wow. I'm surprised they didn't send in the national guard.

I wonder if this has any importance politically...?


June 5, 2004, 04:10 PM
"Maybe it's just me, but I always wonder when I see this sort of stuff in the movies or on the news why nobody ever seems to think of putting a few rounds through the RADIATOR.

Believe me, gang: when you let the coolant out, that engine WILL overheat. And when it does it's going to seize-up and stop running at some soon-to-be-discovered point.

When the engine stops, the vehicle does too. QED.

Just a thought."


Well, yeah...but WHEN?!? It's the same thing as shooting a person. You can shoot someone in the stomach, and sooner or later they'll bleed out, but that's cold comfort when they turn around and put one in your head before they go... :evil:

Of course, this assumes that you can a) see/find/hit the radiator, and that b) the goon inside hasn't planned for this, and armored it. As with so many things, smart goblins=bad news.

Now, the better thought would be, go ahead and trash the radiator, and KEEP TRYING to stop the brute other ways. That way, you may get lucky, but you're also assured that the rampage won't last forever. I wonder what sort of a grade something like that could climb? I mean, it might have cost the city a few cruisers, but I wonder if the PD could've boxed him in effectively? Or does a 'dozer like that have the caljones to just go over or shove a few cars/trucks out of the way? How 'bout something like a flatbed towtruck? Just thinking...now that someone's done it--with some success--you know someone else'll be tinkering in their shed or garage or bunker...

D'OH!!! :D

cracked butt
June 5, 2004, 05:58 PM
Holahan said the Caterpillar had been re-tooled with steel and concrete to make it virtually impenetrable.

Sounds like some sort of poor man's chobham armor:D

June 5, 2004, 07:13 PM
Kalindras - at least one of the articles mentions that several cars were run over. The WND story says something about a truck being folded in half and pushed through a wall. Does that answer your question about boxing him in? I don't know much about bulldozers, but I imagine it would take something pretty dang big to stop it. Sounds like the PD coulda used an M1A1 tank in this situation.

June 5, 2004, 08:30 PM
Trouble with incidents like this, especially in small towns, is that the damage is done before a serious response can get geared up. It sounds like most of the cop's efforts were directed to getting him out of the dozer after he stopped knocking stuff over. Can't see every small town cop getting a .50 cal to carry in the trunk, either.

BTW, this wasn't an eminent domain dispute- according to what I read, he was mad that the authorities allowed his neighbor to build a concrete plant next to his property. Don't know the rights or wrongs of that, but it wasn't about his property being taken.

June 5, 2004, 09:59 PM
Eminent domain has been grossly distorted. Originally it was for 'the public good' not the good of corporations or even for a tax base for the city . It ment a highway or bridge for all the public , not a factory or mall for their profit or for a tax base .

"The idea that 'the public interest' supersedes private interests and rights can have but one meaning: that the interests and rights of some individuals take precedence over the interests and rights of others."
--Ayn Rand

It was a bad idea to begin with.

June 5, 2004, 11:42 PM
Everybody remembers the .500 S&W and the .50 AE. Doesn't Linebaugh get any love?

June 5, 2004, 11:58 PM
This episode, if it's actually ED related, would possibly bring about ED reform if the news actually reported the whole story. Bob Dole would be so relieved!:neener:

June 6, 2004, 01:16 AM
Not that I would ever advocate this kind of behavior, but maybe it will make several people think twice before being stupid and pissing people off.

June 6, 2004, 07:49 AM
Didn't anyone read the linked article that Mil Novecientos Once posted half way down on the first page?

Once inside, investigators discovered four weapons, a .50 caliber rifle, two military style assault rifles and a handgun.

Roadkill Coyote
June 6, 2004, 07:58 AM
The whole "deliberately avoiding injuring anyone" thing is a crock, and he was trying to use the .50 to light off a propane distributorship...

"We had some deputies, officers and state troopers that were hiding behind a concrete wall," Trainor recalled. "When he saw them as he came around the building, he actually came over and tried to tip the wall over on the officers. At that point, it was certainly obvious what his intentions were."
"Heemeyer, who had not been firing a huge military anti-personnel gun mounted on the bulldozer during the pursuit, started shooting when he spotted the giant tanks of Independent Gas, but was unable to get them to explode."
It also appears that the original question has been answered...
"One local offered authorities his own .50-caliber bolt-action rifle, but six rounds failed to adequately penetrate the armor"

Ladies and Gentlemen,
I propose a toast, to the citizen who volunteered his .50 caliber rifle.
A bright spot in a dismal story...

The Denver Post (http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36~53~2195601,00.html)

June 6, 2004, 09:13 AM
Well it throws some water on the uber-destructive powers of the .50, that's for sure. So much for shooting down satellites.

June 6, 2004, 10:19 AM
I notice the concrete plant workers tried to shoot his machine down, too.


June 6, 2004, 11:45 AM
Hey, Kalindras;

Never said that it was the ONLY thing to do. Just a good place to start the countdown clock on the whole mess, as opposed to waiting for him to run out of fuel, run into something that it can't knock over and get stuck, or whatever.

See/find/hit the radiator? We're not talking Geo Metro or new-style Volkswagen Bug here. With at least nine square feet of surface which would of necessity be exposed to airflow, it'd be kinda tough to overlook.

So would boxing-in the radiator (or the whole damn engine compartment, for that matter) with plate. It certainly could be done, but would've been just as conspicuous as the stuff on the cab: kinda like a goat in church. News photos didn't show it, or the whole concept behind my post would've been moot and the thought wouldn't have occured to me.

Anyone who can't figure out what that big rectangular thingey with the louvers HAS to be for or where to look for it on a machine like this probably would also be baffled by any device more complex than a wheel barrow. Such folks don't generally make it into police work, much less to the SWAT team.

Anyone who couldn't both figure out a way to get into an advantageous position to get a shot at it at SOME point AND put at least a couple of holes in an area of that size at normal "urban" engagement ranges also isn't likely to be found wearing a badge anywhere but Mayberry, USA.

YMMV. After all, the TV ads from the Texas tourism folks DO mention that "It's a whole other country!"

As for climbing over a flatbed truck: perhaps not. But I'd give ya attractive odds on any Cat of D-4 size up being able to push it the Hell out of the way unless you wedged it between two solid buildings or dumped beaucoup cubic yards of stones behind it.

Isn't it amazing just how much soup you can make from one oyster?

50 Shooter
June 6, 2004, 03:08 PM
I'm wondering what kind of ammo the guy had for his .50 that he let them borrow.

It definitely wasn't this, http://www.biggerhammer.net/barrett/fas/slap.htm or this, http://www.biggerhammer.net/barrett/raufoss/ If it was it would have been over alot quicker.

June 6, 2004, 03:17 PM
Not so interesting side note:

My father and I were having a recent discussion about large propane tanks and how they always make him nervous. In the course of our usual weekly call this morning, the subject of this guy and him shooting propane tanks with a .50 came up. I commented that if he couldn't make them blow with a .50, then having one in your back yard probably isn't that bad under normal circumstances.

The subject turned to the guy and how he armored up his CAT, and that they shot the thing a few times with a .50 without much joy. He said that they were probably using ball ammo, and that they needed the API ammo like he used to use. I commented that API ammo was illegal and he was surprised. My dad doesn't really keep up with all the gun laws, so he didn't know that you couldn't go to the gun show and buy it. Some disparaging remarks about Kennedy were then made.

My dad could really sympathize with the guy, I guess. He said that after 38 years in the military including 3 tours in Vietnam and now being retired, he understood how someone could get fed up with being screwed by the .gov.

50 Shooter
June 6, 2004, 03:38 PM
API ammo is not banned in all States, check your local regs. Likewise, Raufoss, AP, SLAP(T)... are not banned either. Fun stuff like this is available to the public, some just cost more then others.

Raufoss runs about 35+ PER ROUND, SLAP(T) $20-25 PER ROUND, most people just buy one as a collectable round. At these prices that's all you could afford to do unless you hit the lotto.

June 6, 2004, 07:00 PM
Good to know.

June 6, 2004, 09:29 PM
One of the big ammo guys at the local shows here often has .50BMG APIT(silver band/maroon tip) for $2 each.

It WILL penetrage a gas cylinder. :evil:


June 7, 2004, 09:40 AM
It is my understanding the armor was 1/2 plate, 12 inches of concrete, and another 1/2 inch plate. Anything hand held ain't gettin' through, unless it has a rocket motor attached!

cracked butt
June 7, 2004, 10:45 AM
Even if the .50 rounds penetrated the tanks, I doubt the guy would have gotten an immediate satisfying explosion- unless the tanks were nearly empty or the walls were weakened enough to split completely open. More likely a BLEVE (burning liquid expanding vapor explosion) would occur. The gas venting from the .50 hole in the tanks would burn as it leaves the tank, as the tank empties, the ability of the metal to cool from escaping gas decreases and the metal is weakened and fails, splitting open and causing a VERY dangerous and spectacular explosion.

June 7, 2004, 02:23 PM
I been doing allot of research on this story. The first thing to mention is they did shoot at this guy with a .50 BMG. They also mention that he had a .50 browning which leads me to think he had a BMG as well.

I personally think this guy was crazy, but there is a small amount of me that admires this guy for all the thought he put into this. He put so much planning into this that he even put grease on all the parts of the dozer that a man could climb up into. What he did was illegal and wrong. Hhe had to be a little off his rocker in the first place, but the way the town came down on him definetly pushed him over the edge.

Here is the link to the Denver Post article (http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36%257E23827%257E2195601,00.html)

The post also has few other stories as well.

I was trying to think of a few ideas that might have helped to get him out. If they could have found a slight opening I think I would have tried to fill up the cab with water from a fire hose!! IF he was still alive surely he would have tried to escape drowning.

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