Summit deputies assist Granby after rampage


SUMMIT COUNTY – Summit law enforcement officers are helping the town of Granby recover from the furious rampage of an armored-bulldozer driver who calculatingly wrecked nine buildings before turning a gun on himself Friday.Formerly known on Granby television ads as “Marv the Muffler Man,” 52-year-old Marvin Heemeyer rammed buildings owned by people who angered him in local zoning decisions the past several years.The first building Heemeyer totaled using his self-made armored bulldozer was the new Mountain Parks Concrete plant, some 60 miles north of Summit County. Heemeyer had protested the placement of the dusty, concrete-producing operation next to his muffler shop a couple years ago.Investigators believe the rampage was also motivated by Heemeyer’s recent $2,500 fine for not having a septic tank and for other city code violations at his business.SWAT team members from Summit County arrived in Granby as the mayhem was ending Friday.On Saturday, Summit deputies protected wrecked buildings and helped direct Granby traffic away from the closed-off Main Street.The assistance freed up Granby officials to survey damages to buildings, cars, trees and roads in the northern Colorado town of approximately 1,500. On Saturday, Summit County Sheriff’s Sgt. Dave Martinez saw the monstrous 50-60 ton tractor retrofitted with welded steel and lined with a foot of concrete inside.”It was huge. I saw it as it was going by on a flatbed on its way out of town,” Martinez said. “Out of all the crime scenes I’ve been to, it is amazing no citizens got hurt in this incident.”Summit Sheriff John Minor was on scene this weekend, assisting dozens of state and regional officials, including Gov. Bill Owens. Law enforcement from Jefferson, Clear Creek and Gilpin counties and other agencies arrived in Granby to help as well. “Law enforcement officials in Summit County are all trained for this type of incident, but we haven’t had one here up this point, and we hope we never do,” said Summit Deputy Jim Schaffer. “We had a minimal role helping out this weekend, but we wanted to offer our assistance to the people of Granby.”Many agencies, officials and volunteers from across Colorado have offered help in cleanup and rebuilding efforts. Summit County officials are also offering public works equipment and services to their northern neighbors.State aid will be available to Granby and affected businesses, said Mike Beasley, director of the state Department of Local Affairs.The rampage lasted an hour and a half Friday afternoon. Damaged buildings also include the Granby Town Hall and Library, Liberty Savings bank, Sky-Hi newspaper, Independent gas station, Mountain Parks Electric and Gambles hardware store. The late Granby Mayor Dick Thompson’s home was also demolished, leaving his widow devastated.Preliminary investigations indicate Heemeyer spent months armoring the bulldozer, and investigators were looking into whether he had help.Heemeyer’s death was confirmed about 2 a.m. Saturday and the body was removed from the bulldozer about 10:30 a.m.”Once he tipped that lid shut, he knew he wasn’t getting out,” said Grand County Commissioner Duane Dailey.- The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Summit Daily is embarking on a multiyear project to digitize its archives going back to 1989 and make them available to the public in partnership with the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection. The full project is expected to cost about $165,000. All donations made in 2023 will go directly toward this project.

Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.