A gunman who died in an explosion while holding police at bay may have accidentally killed himself while trying to rig a booby trap in his motel room, authorities said Monday.
Investigators were cautious as they explored the motel room Sunday after finding about two dozen hand grenades, two homemade pipe bombs, several weapons, more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition and paraphernalia for making bombs, Sgt. Joe Vargas said. There was a gas mask next to the body.
They also learned from New Mexico authorities that electrical booby traps were found in what they believe is his Albuquerque home. The body has been only tentatively identified.
The man barricaded himself Sunday after allegedly shooting a convenience store clerk near his hotel. Jonathan Ed Sumey, 35, remained in critical condition.
Hours after police surrounded the Calico Motel, and three hours after a large blast, the gunman was found dead. The blast, apparently from a hand grenade, severed his fingers.
“Our feeling right now is that he may have accidentally killed himself,” Vargas said. “He made statements that we were going to be there for awhile. He did not appear to suicidal.”