Bombing suspect captured in Boulder

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Moore spotted having coffee at grocery store

By Emile Hallez

Authorities captured Southwest Plaza mall bombing suspect Earl Albert Moore early Tuesday morning in Boulder, ending a nationwide hunt for the 65-year-old that lasted several days.

Moore was spotted having coffee at 7:22 a.m. at a Starbucks inside the King Soopers at 3600 Table Mesa Drive. A customer noticed the man’s likeness to heavily publicized photos in the local and national media, said King Soopers spokeswoman Kelli McGannon. The customer spoke with a store employee to verify the similarity before calling 911.

“It was really just an alert shopper,” McGannon said. “(Moore) was seated in our Starbucks area.”

Boulder police arrived at the store and arrested Moore without incident about a minute later, law enforcement officials said. Moore was taken to the Jeffco jail. He is scheduled to appear in federal court Wednesday and is likely to face charges related to the Southwest Plaza incident.

Moore is currently in the custody of U.S. marshals.

As a precautionary measure, police performed a sweep of the grocery store but did not evacuate it, McGannon said.

Moore, who once lived in Denver, was released from federal prison a week before a pipe bomb and two propane tanks were found April 20 in the mall. He had originally been serving an 18-year term, though his sentence was dramatically reduced in 2008, after he cooperated with U.S. attorneys in other prosecutions.

Though grainy images of the suspect had been released around midnight on April 20, much clearer booking photos of Moore from a previous arrest were distributed Sunday, when he was named as the suspect.

Following a small fire in a back hallway near the building’s food court, mall security, firefighters and police evacuated about 300 employees and several thousand customers from the mall shortly before noon April 20, closing the building for the rest of the day. The fire was on or near two small propane tanks, witnesses have said.

After sweeps of the mall were completed, it opened for business as usual the following morning.

No one was injured in the incident.

Contact Emile Hallez Williams at emile@evergreenco.comor 303-933-2233, ext. 22. For updates, check www.ColumbineCourier.com.