A Commerce City man's apparent murder plot backfired when he lit himself on fire while igniting his former girlfriend's home in Basalt, officials say.
The man, whose identity has not been released, fatally shot himself in the head with a high-powered assault rifle after running from the duplex on fire, Basalt Police Chief Keith Ikeda said today.
The man, on probation for a federal explosives conviction, had not seen his former girlfriend for several years, Ikeda said.
At 5 a.m. Saturday, he entered the duplex without breaking into the home and started a fire in the living room, Ikeda said.
One theory is that he intended to shoot the woman, whose identity has not been released, as she ran from the burning home, he said.
But the man's clothing caught fire, and he ran from the house enveloped in flames, witnesses reported to police, Ikeda said.
"It appeared at the scene that his clothes had pretty much burned," he said.
The man had several Ruger mini-14 cartridges in his pockets, which exploded while he burned on the front lawn, Ikeda said.
The girlfriend escaped unharmed.