UPDATE: Shelton bombing suspect found dead in cell

Apr 30, 2014, 2:45 PM | Updated: May 1, 2014, 11:56 am
Larry Gillette, 52, was found dead in his cell Wednesday. The Shelton man arrested for plotting to detonate powerful explosives at a Walmart and two gas stations had also planned to blow up the Seattle Space Needle, a federal official tells KIRO Radio. (Department of Corrections photo)
(Department of Corrections photo)

UPDATE: A Shelton man charged this week for a plot to blow up two gas stations and a Walmart store as a diversion for bank robberies has been found dead in his cell.

According to a federal law enforcement source familiar with the investigation, Larry Gillette, 53, had also discussed a desire to blow up the Seattle Space Needle.

The U.S. Bureau of Prisons said Thursday that 52-year-old Larry Ray Gillette was discovered unresponsive at the Federal Detention Center at SeaTac on Wednesday and was taken to a hospital, but could not be revived. The FBI is investigating death as an apparent suicide, but no details were immediately released about the cause.

It is not clear how viable the alleged threat to blow up the Space Needle was was.

The source spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release details of the investigation. The source said Seattle officials, including Mayor Ed Murray, were briefed on the threat.

The Seattle Police Department could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday. The mayor’s office and the FBI deferred comment to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which said it would not comment on anything outside the boundaries of the current criminal complaint.

“We discuss only what he’s actually been charged with,” said Emily Langlie, a spokesperson for U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle said Tuesday that Gillette, 53, planned to bomb a Walmart store, an Arco, and a Chevron gas station as a diversion so he could commit a series of bank robberies, and even attempted to detonate a car bomb that had been rendered inoperable by authorities.

“The plot allegedly anticipated that while first responders were busy with the bombings, Gillette would rob three banks,” according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which made no mention of the Space Needle. “Gillette indicated he wanted the maximum loss of life to occur in the bombings and the bank robberies.”

Law enforcement officials with the Seattle Safe Streets Task Force and the Seattle Police Department’s Major Crimes Task Force were tipped off to Gillette’s plot while he was serving a state prison sentence for identity theft.

When he was released from prison on April 14, Gillette rendezvoused with an undercover police detective posing as a supplier with access to firearms and explosives.

The detective recorded Gillette detailing his plot on several occasions, according to federal prosecutors, and helped him obtain four Glock firearms that were modified so they would not fire.

Gillette was charged in U.S. District Court in Tacoma Tuesday with solicitation to commit a crime of violence and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press was included in this report.

Local News

autumn...
Ted Buehner

Dry summers delay changes in leaves, but brilliant autumn colors around the corner

This sunny dry weather is expected to continue through Columbus Day Weekend, providing more unseasonably warm weather for enjoying fall hues.
22 hours ago
investigations...
Hanna Scott

No timeline for Office of Independent Investigations use of force cases to begin

“The new Office of Independent Investigation will increase transparency and trust in investigations of deadly uses of force by law enforcement."
22 hours ago
mariners...
Nicole Jennings

Postseason baseball within reach for Mariners, starved fans

With playoffs closer than ever, Mariners fans await tonight's results with baited breath
22 hours ago
bipoc...
Hanna Scott

Report discovers troubling gap between BIPOC, white homeowners in Washington state

More than 143,000 BIPOC households would need to become homeowners to close the gap between white and BIPOC households in Washington.
22 hours ago
shooting...
Sam Campbell

Edmonds high school student arrested for bringing ‘ghost gun’ to school

Edmonds Police Department (EDP) thanking the vigilance of one student who they say spoke up when they knew a fellow 15-year-old student brought a loaded gun to class at Edmonds-Woodway High School Thursday.
22 hours ago
Photo from KIRO 7...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Olympia woman facing fines over ‘Black Lives Matter’ sign inside her home

An Olympia woman is being threatened with fines over a sign hanging inside her home.
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
UPDATE: Shelton bombing suspect found dead in cell