Reporting Anjali Hemphill
AUBURN (CBS13) – It’s troubling case of a man some are calling a genius, but whose life took a turn when he hit hard times. But just how drastically his life had changed hadn’t fully been revealed, until now.
Rifles equipped with silencers, 30,000 rounds of ammunition, multiple passports and $33,000 in cash are among the items deputies found inside a motor home belonging to 46-year-old Andreas Koertel.
“Every time he’d be doing some shooting, bang, bang, bang, we’d come in, we’d have to bring the kids in,” said John Burns, a neighbor of Koertel’s.
Investigators say it was on a large property off 24th Street where they also found a pipe bomb, several cricket bombs, similar to the ones used in the Columbine massacre and a cell phone that had been converted into a remote detonation device.
“They are not for blowing up or playing games. Those are for hurting people,” said Burns.
The owner of the property says Koertel was staying at the home while he worked for him part-time as a mechanic.
“Andreas Koertel is a genius — an electrical genius, very accomplished and very educated,” said Lad Wentzel, Koertel’s boss.
Investigators say Koertel is from Germany and not a U.S. citizen. People who knew him say he used to work for Hewlett-Packard and was very good with computers and building things.
“He didn’t seem like the kind of guy that was into weapons,” said a former neighbor.
“He changed after he got laid off at Hewlett-Packard.”
Former neighbors of his say he eventually lost his home, his job and took off, possibly from drug abuse.
Investigators are still not sure why Koertel was storing away all of the weapons, but neighbors are glad he’s gone.
“We’re relieved that he’s not going to be here anymore,” said Burns.
Deputies say Koertel was pulled over in Placer County where they found illegal guns and meth inside the car. That discovery led officials to his motor home where they found the rest of his stash of guns and explosives.