Canadians are baffled after a woman from Kamloops, British Columbia was held hostage Thursday night by an apparently obsessed co-worker, who had rigged his body to explode with a makeshift suicide vest.
The woman was returning home with her boyfriend, her four children, and his two children, when they saw the still unnamed bomber. According to the woman's boyfriend, who asked only to be identified as David, the co-worker approached them calmly, but they all knew something was "off."
"At the time I knew just from glancing at him that we were in trouble," David said. "He had a long box in his hand and his hand was inside, while his other hand was preoccupied with something underneath his coat."
After the co-worker tried to talk to David's girlfriend, she asked the man to leave and the he became very aggressive.
"At that point I'm still pulling my four-year-old daughter out of the car," David explained, but it was also at that point that he noticed that the crazed co-worker had a gun.
They tried to hurry everyone into the house and shut the door, but the man with a gun was too quick, inserting the gun between the frame. He fired a shot and missed everyone, but deafened David, who was holding the door.
"The only thing I knew at that point was that we were going to die if something drastically didn't happen," he said.
Knowing that they couldn't shut the door without getting in the line of fire, they all made a break for it amid the confusion. David grabbed his youngest, a three-year old, and raised the alarm with the neighbors as the woman's eldest, a 13-year old, helped get the rest out the window.
Only the mother didn't make it out in time, but thanks to a skilled negotiator, she did make it out eventually.
"[The negotiator] phoned [the bomber] and he started stroking his ego, saying how smart he was," David explained, while the police quickly evacuated the neighbors.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sergeant Grant Learned explained what exactly the police were dealing with: "The suspect, who is an electrician by trade, provided specific details to the negotiator regarding how the explosives were wired and how he would be able to detonate the devices remotely."
Apparently, the man had an improvised explosive on his body and a remote with which he could also detonate a nearby van.
After nearly seven hours of negotiating, the co-worker let the woman go and cut off communications with the outside world. Roughly ten minutes later, he blew up the entire house.
Authorities were forced to put out the fire from a distance until a bomb squad arrived, concerned that the van would also blow. Thankfully, bomb squad crews were able to reach it in time, and they found in it a five gallon can of gas, a 20 pound propane cylinder, and two improvised metal pipe bombs (one was on the console, the other was hidden underneath the vehicle).
"Police are still on the scene and have cordoned off the area around the house which is now being treated as a crime scene," Learned said. "Investigators will start the arduous task of sifting through the rubble looking for the remains of the suspect and other evidence related to the explosions from within the house."
While some reports are saying that the bomber was actually an ex-boyfriend, David told CFJC-TV that his girlfriend only knew the suspect through work.
Branded a "suburban suicide bomber" by the Daily Mail, one neighbor just commented: "Shocking, shocking, shocking. That's what it is."