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Bomb Found on Body After Triple Murder, Suicide

October 17, 1989

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ A man who killed himself after fatally shooting his former lover and their two children hid a bomb on his body that could have blown up in the medical examiner’s office, police said today.

The seven-inch cardboard tube filled with gunpowder was attached to a ″push detonator,″ said Detective William Brennan. ″All it has to do is touch against something.″

Assistant Medical Examiner Bennett G. Preston said he discovered the bomb as he started to remove clothes from the body of 37-year-old Daniel Wright, who had shot himself in the neck after setting fire to his former lover’s house.

″I just reached in and pulled it out,″ he said. ″I thought it could be just about anything. ... I said, ‘Looks like we’ve got a bomb here.’ ... We didn’t mess with it.″

The office’s 65 employees were evacuated for two hours until the bomb squad removed the explosive.

About 12 hours later, police called the bomb squad to remove unspecified ″military apparatus″ found in military lockers from the man’s apartment, Brennan said.

Police said Wright confronted his ex-girlfriend, Agnes Rivera, 29, and several of her relatives in her home Monday morning. He set off several tear- gas canisters, then began shooting wildly with a lever-action rifle.

Ms. Rivera was fatally wounded in the chest, while the relatives escaped out the front door. Police said Wright then went into an upstairs bedroom, where he shot his children, ages 7 and 4. He apparently doused the room with a flammable liquid and ignited it.

Then he shot himself and collapsed on the bodies of his children, police said.

Police said they had not determined a motive behind the attack, but neighbors and relatives said there had been tension between Wright and Ms. Rivera.

″He was always threatening her,″ said a sobbing Hector Rivera, who identified himself as Ms. Rivera’s uncle. ″He said if they would ever break up, he would kill her.″

The house sustained minor damage.

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