Puzzling Questions Remain After Death Of Oregon Bomb Expert


Bill Hakim, an Oregon State Police senior trooper and bomb expert, had a reputation for sound judgment. And that makes his death in a bomb explosion at a small town bank near Portland all the more puzzling to the law enforcers, reports the Associated Press. Hakim, 51, was killed Friday while he was handling what he believed to be a hoax bomb at a bank branch in Woodburn, Ore. Also killed was Woodburn police Capt. Tom Tennant, who was apparently holding the green metal box that contained the bomb. The city’s police chief, Scott Russell, lost a leg and was critically injured, while a bank employee was hit by shrapnel that imbedded in the bone of her leg.

Police made quick arrests, charging 32-year-old Joshua Turnidge and his 57-year-old father, Bruce Turnidge, with aggravated murder. No motive has been revealed. Several bomb experts said they did not want to second-guess decisions by Hakim, but they agreed it was unusual to conclude a potential bomb was harmless following the visual and X-ray inspection the trooper made. The Oregon State Police have declined to say why their Explosive Ordnance Disposal truck, acquired in 2006, was not at the scene with its bomb-detection tools, robots, protective suits and a containment vessel. It appears Hakim was planning to dismantle what he thought was a fake in order to gather evidence. A hoax device had been planted at a nearby bank, which was inspected by Hakim and an FBI bomb expert before they found the other device.

Link: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/wire/sns-ap-bank-bombing,1,4026924.story

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