AFRICANGLOBE – Federal investigators are on the ground at the scene where an ‘improvised explosive device’ detonated Tuesday next to the Colorado Springs chapter of the NAACP.
The blast happened about 10:45am outside a barber shop next door to the group’s building, which is about an hour south of Denver.
Eyewitnesses said they heard a ‘loud boom’ as the improvised device, which was placed next to a can of gasoline, went off. The contents of the can didn’t ignite, federal officials said.
I was cutting somebody’s hair and I heard the explosion,’ Gene Southerland, who owns the Mr. G’s Hair Design Studio in the same building, told the Denver Post.
‘It was such a loud explosion that some plastic containers fell off the shelf.’
Police say no injuries were reported.
FBI spokeswoman Amy Sanders says it’s not known yet whether the explosion was an accident or not or whether it was aimed at the nation’s oldest civil rights organization.
The extent of the damage from the explosion wasn’t immediately clear
Photos of the scene don’t show any visible damage to the barber shop building.
Inside the NAACP office, volunteers say the explosion was enough to knock things off walls, the Gazette reported.
Chapter president Henry Allen Jr. told the newspaper he is ‘hesitant’ to call the incident a hate crime until an investigation is completed.
He told the Gazette the organization ‘will not be deterred.’
‘We believe in civil rights for all, and really we won’t work in fear and we won’t be deterred,’ he added to the newspaper.
‘We’ll move on — this won’t deter us from doing the job we want to do in the community.’
The FBI’s Denver Office issued an updated late afternoon saying officials were seeking a person of interested in the explosion, the Denver Post reported.
He’s described as a balding Caucasian male, about 40 years of age.
‘He may be driving a 2000 or older model dirty, white pick-up truck with paneling, a dark colored bed liner, open tailgate and a missing or covered license plate,’ a statement from the FBI read.
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