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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 June, 2004, 01:39 GMT 02:39 UK
US man in bulldozer rampage
Law enforcement officers standing by the wrecked bulldozer in Granby, Colorado
The bulldozer came to rest when it crashed into a warehouse
A shopkeeper who went on the rampage in a bulldozer in the US state of Colorado to protest against local town planning policy has been found dead.

Marvin Heemeyer damaged trees and seven buildings in the town of Granby before ploughing into a warehouse.

Police cut their way into the specially-armoured machine to find that he had shot himself, officials said.

Mr Heemeyer, the owner of a car repair business, had recently lost two disputes with planning officials.

Residents said every building knocked down was connected to the town council or to a local government official.

The witnesses said Mr Heemeyer, 57, had modified the vehicle in his workshop until it looked like "a futuristic tank".

Police attempted to stop the bulldozer by firing at it as it demolished buildings and cars, but their bullets were deflected by makeshift armour-plating.

After the bulldozer came to rest, police clambered over it in an attempt to talk to the shopkeeper, but they were unable to get inside and there was no sign of movement from within.

After failing to blow a hole in the armour with explosives, officials used a blowtorch on it and found Mr Heemeyer's body inside.

'A guy went nuts'

Local residents said Mr Heemeyer was angry because he thought a concrete plant had been built too close to his business.

However, council officials had rejected his arguments.

He had also been fined $2,500 in a separate case for not having a septic tank on his premises, a spokesman for the local authority said.

The buildings that were damaged by Mr Heemeyer included the cement plant, a utility company, a bank, a newspaper office, a hardware store and warehouse, a former mayor's home and the municipal building, which also housed a library.

"A guy went nuts," said one witness, Bob Haddock. "Mad at the town, mad at the world, took it out on Main Street.

"He had a list with him and knew who he was going to hit, and he got them."

The rampage caused extensive damage but no casualties, the authorities said.

Investigators have searched the garage where they believe Mr Heemeyer built his vehicle and found cement, armour, steel and a homemade crane.


WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Juliet Dunlop
"Anything that got in his way was crushed"



SEE ALSO:
Chicago runway bulldozed
01 Apr 03  |  Americas
Florida couple escape bulldozer
30 Aug 02  |  Americas



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