Ex-employer of murder-suicide suspect says he made threats

DENVER (AP) — A man who police say shot and killed his wife and then himself outside a Jehovah’s Witness worship hall in suburban Denver had threatened to kill her and shoot a union representative after having lost his job as an electrician last year, according to a court filing by his former employer.

Enoch Apodaca, 46, and Melissa Martinez, 44, were members of the congregation, police said.

In a protective order application against Apodaca filed in December 2021, a representative for Sturgeon Electric Company Inc. wrote that Apodaca told a union representative that he would shoot Martinez and the union representative, then “come after the responsible people » at the company because he and his wife lost their jobs. The app, first reported by the Denver Post, noted that Apodaca was fired in June 2021 but did not specify why.

Following Sunday’s alleged murder-suicide, the Adams County bomb squad responded to the worship hall, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 68 building and a home believed to be owned by Apodaca for check for explosives, said Adams County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Adam Sherman. Three incendiary-type devices were found at the site of the Christmas Day shooting but were made safe, police said.

On Wednesday, Sherman referred questions about the alternate locations to Thornton police. A phone message has been left with the police department for further details.

The Post also reported on Wednesday that police in nearby Westminster had received seven calls to respond to Apodaca’s address since September 2021, including one in which a person warned police that Apodaca was threatening to use violence, used drugs and withdrew from his family after he and his wife lost their jobs. In service records provided to the log for three of those calls, there was no record that the cases had progressed beyond the initial call, he said.

The Associated Press


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