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Still few answers in apparent murder-suicide involving pipe bombs at Jehovah's Witness congregation

2023-01-03 Source:cbsnews Author:Olivia Young

A Jehovah's Witness church in Thornton was the scene of a Christmas morning tragedy, when a former congregation member threw three pipe bomb-like devices through a window, then shot his wife and himself in the parking lot. 

Around 9 a.m. Sunday, Thornton Police say the window to Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, was broken when the explosive devices were thrown inside. 

Luckily, the bombs did not detonate but caused a small fire which police responded to. Only one person was inside the building, preparing for services, and they were not harmed. 

The man who threw the explosives then shot and killed the woman with him, and then himself, in the parking lot. Congregation members arriving for Sunday services found the bodies.

Thornton Police say the couple never entered the church or attempted to shoot anyone else. 

The Adams County Corners Office has not yet named the deceased couple, but police said were married and used to be members of the Kingdom Hall congregation. 

Thornton Police say it's not clear whether the couple was working together, or if the husband acted alone, and the wife was a victim. 

The building was released back to the church late Christmas night after Adams County's Hazardous Materials Unit did a sweep to make sure there were no more explosives inside. Representatives from Kingdom Hall declined an interview but said they're focusing on getting the place clean for services to resume Wednesday. 

Olivia Young is a reporter at CBS News Colorado. Read her latest reports or check out her bio and send her an email.

First published on December 26, 2022 / 5:07 PM