Another update, 2nd device confirmed as "minor"
Person killed in explosion at OU identified
07:00 PM CDT on Sunday, October 2, 2005
NORMAN, Okla. A University of Oklahoma student with emotional difficulties was identified Sunday as the person who was killed when an explosive attached to his body detonated near a packed football stadium, authorities said.
The body is believed to be that of Joel Henry Hinrichs III, 21, Salvador Hernandez, Special Agent in charge of the FBI in Oklahoma, said in a news release.
We know that he has had what I would call emotional difficulties in the past. And as I said, this is an individual death. There is certainly no evidence at this point which points to any other kind of motivation other than his personal problems, OU President David Boren told reporters Sunday afternoon.
Boren declined to say where Hinrichs was from, but a student telephone book lists a permanent address in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Hinrichs' father, Joel Henry Hinrichs Jr., said he was very surprised to hear the news about his son.
We exchanged e-mails on an irregular basis, several in the last month, and nothing seemed out the ordinary, the father told The Associated Press.
His son was a National Merit Scholar who graduated in May 2002 from Wasson High School in Colorado Springs and began attending OU in the fall of that year with a major in mechanical engineering.
He was a very intelligent, very private individual who somehow lost the confidence that his life would be a good one, the elder Hinrichs said. Obviously, every parent believes their son is a good kid, and I certainly believed that about mine.
Joel Henry Hinrichs Jr. said he had not figured out whether he would travel to Norman.
Besides his parents, Hinrichs was the youngest of five children three boys and two girls.
Authorities haven't identified what kind of explosive device was used. Boren initially said a second explosive device was detonated by a bomb squad Saturday night, but later said no other devices had been discovered.
Authorities detonated a backpack with a mild explosive device, but no other explosive materials were found inside, Boren said.
The explosion occurred around 8 p.m. Saturday while he sat on a bench outside George Lynn Cross Hall, officials said.
Authorities cordoned off the area west of the stadium and no one was allowed to leave the facility immediately after the blast for security reasons. Spectators were allowed to go outside about 30 minutes later.
There were no other reports of injuries and Boren said spectators were never in danger.
Other than some broken windows, the building sustained minor damage, Boren said. The area remained taped off Sunday as fire crews hosed down nearby sidewalks and three buses that were parked in front of the building.
Meanwhile, law enforcement officers early Sunday evacuated part of the student apartment complex where Hinrichs stayed. About 40 people were told to leave and not to return for at least a day, Boren told reporters.
City officials informed other nearby residents to evacuate, Boren said.
Obviously we're not going to let them come back into the area unless we know it's safe, and we can't have people going back into the area if it might interfere with the investigation, he said. They're going through everything with a fine-toothed comb.
Television news footage showed investigators retrieving items from a trash bin at the complex, which is located a couple of blocks east of the stadium.
Investigators have no information to suggest there is any additional threat posed by others related to the explosion, Hernandez said.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, OU police, Norman police and the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office also are investigating the incident.
the father sounds a bit more skeptical of the son in this report, and a bit detached - he is not traveling to Oklahoma?
He was a very intelligent, very private individual who somehow lost the confidence that his life would be a good one, the elder Hinrichs said.
Seems odd: nothing out of the ordinary and "somehow lost the confidence that his life would be a good one".
Director of Homeland Security for Oklahoma refused to rule out terrorism and said the FBI was conducting a big investigation to fit the puzzle pieces together. He was on Channel 9 which said they will have an update at 10:00. All day long the story has been changing.
Correction, minor was a description of the explosive they used to blow up the backpack, NOT a description of the "2nd device" they thought might have been in the backpack.
We still don't know there was a 2nd bomb, only that the police used a small amount of explosives to detonate a backpack found on the scene.