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University of Oklahoma Student Detonates Bomb Outside Football Game

NORMAN, Okla., In an apparent suicide, a University of Oklahoma (OU) student was killed by a bomb strapped to his body that exploded during the Oct. 1 OU v. Kansas State football game. The bomb exploded approximately 100 yards away from the packed football stadium.

Joel Henry Hinrichs III, 21, was a mechanical engineering student who university authorities say had a history of emotional problems, including severe depression. School officials believe the bombing to be a suicide, saying there is no evidence pointing to any other motivation.

Hinrichs was outside George Lynn Cross Hall, sitting on a bench during the first half of the football game when the bomb detonated. Although there were approximately 85,000 people in the stadium at the time, no one else was injured during the explosion, nor was any other attendee deemed by authorities to be in danger.

The FBI; Norman Police Department; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Cleveland County Sheriff Department; Chief Medical Examiner and Oklahoma University Department of Public Safety (OUDPS) were all involved the in the investigation.

Immediately after the explosion, officials completed a thorough search of the parking garage near the stadium and locked down parts of the stadium, rerouting fans. Most game attendees were not aware of the incident and were not informed of the explosion until shortly before the end of the game so as not to cause panic. Fans were instructed to avoid certain areas affected by the blast.

A sweep of parts of the stadium was also done, and police detonated another backpack suspected of being associated with the first bomb. The second backpack did not contain explosive materials.

During the early morning of Oct. 2, the FBI and other agencies searched Hinrichs’ apartment after evacuating residents from surrounding apartments and residences. After the search, bomb squad members conducted controlled detonations of more items in connection with the case.

The FBI; Norman Police Department; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Cleveland County Sheriff Department; Chief Medical Examiner and OUDPS continue to investigate the incident.

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