Marvin Heemeyer’s pickup found in Omaha, Neb., parking lot
(Originally published June 24, 2004 in the Sky-Hi News)
What was Marvin Heemeyer doing in Omaha, Neb., about 10 days before his June 4 “tank” rampage in Granby, and why did he rent a van from Omaha and leave his own vehicle parked there in a longterm parking lot?
Those are some of the questions that law enforcement officials are trying to answer after Heemeyer’s 2002 GMC Sierra pickup was found parked at an Omaha airport last week. Inside, Omaha police detectives found several items including a weapon, bullets and hand-written notes.
What led authorities to the finding of Heemeyer’s pickup in Omaha was the discovery of a rental car with Nebraska license plates in a metal shed that Heemeyer had rented on the west side of Granby. It was in that shed that Heemeyer had built his “tank” and from which he had launched his June 4 rampage.
Investigators were able to trace the rental car back to the Hertz Rent-A-Car office located near Omaha’s Eppley Airfield. Colorado law enforcement authorities had also asked the Omaha police to search for Heemeyer’s GMC Sierra pickup which they had not been able to locate in either Granby or at his residence in Grand Lake.
According to a June 19 article in the Omaha World-Herald newspaper, Hertz officials searched their own lot for Heemeyer’s vehicle but were unable to find it there. However, they then called the airport security police at nearby Eppley Airfield and asked them to conduct a search of their parking lot for Heemeyer’s pickup
The pickup truck was finally discovered by the Eppley security police in the airfield’s longterm surface parking lot on top of its rental garage. Records showed it may have been parked there since May 27.
After obtaining a search warrant, Omaha police detectives searched Heemeyer’s pickup and found the following items inside: disposable camera, checkbook, hand-written note, four pages from a phone book, Colorado vehicle registration card, one wooden-handled .22-caliber handgun, one .50 caliber bullet, two bags of bullets and five LC 53 bullets.
Heemeyer’s June 4 rampage, which was made in an armed and armored bulldozer that he had secretly fabricated in the metal shed, resulted in 13 buildings damaged or destroyed. Local law enforcement officers did everything they could to stop it, but were unable to do so because of the vehicle’s thick steel-and-concrete protection. The rampage finally ended when the engine of Heemeyer’s “tank” became stuck in the basement of the Gambles store. He was later found dead inside from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
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