Crews Begin Dismantling Granby Bulldozer

Town To Celebrate 100th Birthday On Anniversary Of Rampage

Crews in Granby are dismantling the infamous bulldozer that destroyed several town buildings last summer.

Marvin Heemeyer, 52, built the armored bulldozer and used it to carry out a vendetta on the city. He caused nearly $750,000 damage before he shot himself when his bulldozer got stuck in the wreckage of the Gambles Hardware store.

Authorities on Tuesday began to take apart the fortified bulldozer by hand. Some of the steel will be reused and the rest will be taken to Denver and shredded, Granby Mayor Ted Wang said.

With his makeshift tank, Heemeyer rammed 13 buildings including Gambles Hardware store, Sky-Hi News building, the old mayor's home, the town library and town hall. The town is slowly rebuilding with some small projects already complete, but many of the larger buildings have yet to break ground, Wang said.

Heemeyer was upset with town officials after fighting with them over zoning rules and town code violations at his muffler-repair business. According to audiotapes that he recorded and then sent to his brother, Heemeyer got the idea for how to exact his revenge while sitting in a hot tub in 2001 and said that God inspired and supported his idea.

A man chips away at a bulldozer that caused so much destruction last summer. Slideshow: See Damage From Rampage

He spent months inside a shed building the fortified bulldozer that would ultimately be his tomb. The former muffler repairman welded 2-inch thick concrete and steel plates on his 60-ton Komatsu D355-A bulldozer and equipped the machine with video monitors, guns and even fans.

Police had fired hundreds of rounds of bullets at the bulldozer and tried three times to blast through it, but nothing could penetrate the armor. After his death, officers removed an air conditioner that he had installed to get inside. Investigators discovered .50-caliber rifle, two military-style assault rifles and a handgun inside.

After his death, authorities found lists in Heemeyer's home that included people who sided against him in his disputes and named 14 buildings. The lists included the mayor, the county manager, several business owners, the 13 buildings Heemeyer hit and the Catholic church, which was not damaged.

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Heemayer shot himself in his makeshift tank after the bulldozer got stuck in the wreckage of the hardware store.

So far, the Granby Fund to help businesses and residents displaced by the rampage has received about $227,000 but Wang said they are still in need of donations. The town has already handed out about $200,000.

Although June 4 marks the the one-year anniversary of the rampage, the town plans to turn something tragic into something fun by using that date to throw a party to celebrate Granby's 100th birthday. Residents will commemorate that day with an old-fashioned baseball game and ice cream social.

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