Inside the theater shooter's booby-trapped apartment

Gary Smith doesn't typically make it his business to dismantle bombs by hand. 9NEWS at 5 p.m. 09/09/15.

KUSA - Gary Smith doesn't typically make it his business to dismantle bombs by hand.

"[We] try to do everything by remote," he said.

But sometimes, like one day in Aurora three years ago, Smith, an explosives enforcement officer for the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, had to do just that.

He took apart several black spheres made by the Aurora theater shooter, who booby-trapped his Paris Street apartment with numerous homemade devices.

This week, 9NEWS obtained video from a bomb robot that was previously not available because documents related to the case were sealed during the trial.

Now that the trial is over, prosecutors have released various materials connected to the July 2012 case.

According to court testimony, the apartment was wired to kill by exploding and catching fire -- causing the most damage possible.

A team of experts from multiple jurisdictions worked to render the apartment safe.

Smith was one of them.

"No, I really wasn't too scared," Smith, a man who takes his dangerous job in a matter-of-fact kind of way, said.

He's spent a decade in the Army, and done tours in Kosovo and Iraq. Smith has seen it all. So what we saw in a small Aurora apartment didn't stun him, not one bit.

"We do look at it a little differently," Smith said. "It doesn't surprise me to run across anything anywhere really. It's just a matter of time before something like that ends up here, kind of the way we look at it, kind of worst case scenario, you always try to think ahead."

Thinking ahead to the next one. Now that Smith and others can talk about what they saw, did and learned, they can teach others across the country.

As investigators release more video and documents, we'll share them with you if they help give you a better understanding of what happened.

(© 2015 KUSA)


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