Husband suspected in Thorton Jehovah’s Witnesses hall attack had threatened to kill wife, shoot union rep


The husband suspected of killing his wife and then himself outside a Jehovah’s Witnesses worship hall on Christmas Day previously pledged to kill his wife and shoot a union representative after he was fired from his job as an electrician in 2021, his former employer alleged in court filings.

Thornton police say either Enoch Apodaca, 46, or his wife, Melissa Martinez, 44, threw three pipe bomb-style devices through a window of the Thornton worship building Sunday before Apodaca fatally shot his wife and then himself.

The Adams County Sheriff’s Office bomb squad also responded that day to the IBEW Local Union 68 building in North Washington as well as to an address that matched Apodaca’s home in the High View Mobile Home Community mobile home park in Westminster to check for explosive devices, an agency spokesperson, Sgt. Adam Sherman, said.

It was not immediately clear what was found. A Local 68 union representative declined comment when contacted Tuesday, and Thornton police did not return requests for more information.

In 2021, Apodaca told a union representative at the “Local 68” that he would shoot the representative, Apodaca’s wife, and then “will come after the people responsible” for firing him, according to an application for a civil protection order filed in December 2021 by a representative of Apodaca’s former employer, Sturgeon Electric Company Inc.

A company representative at the time wrote that Apodaca had been fired in June 2021. The temporary protection order application does not say why Apodaca was fired.

It was not clear from court records whether the request for a protection order was granted, but the incident raises questions about Apodaca’s behavior before Christmas Day, when authorities believe he and Martinez went to Kingdom Hall at 951 Milky Way and one of them threw the pipe bomb-style devices into the building, which was empty but for one person. The devices did not explode, police said.

The married couple were former members of the Jehovah Witnesses’ congregation, Thornton police have said.


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