COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Police in Colorado Springs are investigating after a loud boom was heard outside a building holding a hair salon and the local NAACP chapter.
Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies were involved in a manhunt for a suspect who may have targeted the NAACP.
An improvised explosive device went off at approximately 10:45 a.m. according to Amy Sanders, FBI Denver representative.
The explosion happened at 603 El Paso St., according to a Colorado Spring Police spokesperson, Catherine Buckley.
The neighborhood is filled with people.
“All of a sudden I heard this big boom,” one witness said. “I was in the military, so it was pretty much equivalent to an IED.” “I heard this loud boom and I turned around and shut the door and I was like, ‘oh crap.'”
“There was smoke everywhere the building on the side was burnt.” “Whoever did it took off right away though. That`s all I heard and it was scary.”
Investigators paid particular attention to what Julie Skufca had to say. “[It] kind of made your heart stop, especially when you have kids.” She is one of the only eyewitnesses who stared the man in the eyes as he calmly drove away. “He was a heavier white man with what looked like a carhard jacket,” she said. “Just driving normal like it was a normal day.”
A gasoline can was placed next to the explosive device, however, the contents of the can did not ignite upon explosion, Buckley said.
People in a nearby business heard a boom and went outside. There they saw a charred area on the ground.
The investigation is centered around a building that houses several businesses, including a hair salon and the local chapter of the NAACP.
“The NAACP looks forward to a full and thorough investigation into this matter by federal agents and local law enforcement,” the organization said in a statement made on Tuesday.
The FBI will decide if this was a hate crime.
There were no deaths or injuries resulting from the explosion, and only minimal surface charring to the exterior wall of the building, according to FBI Denver.
Police are looking for a white man around 40-years-old who was driving an older model dirty white pickup truck with wood side paneling.
If anyone has information regarding the above incident or individual, please call the FBI Denver tip line at (303) 435-7787.