An improvised bomb exploded outside of the Colorado Springs NAACP building on Tuesday, sparking a wide investigation in the Colorado town. Authorities say they are on the heels of a person of interest in the blast, and were able to confirm no one was injured.
The device that exploded was placed next to a gasoline container, which did not go ablaze. The bomb essentially charred the outside of the building, which houses several businesses and organizations, and knocked some items off walls inside. An owner of a barbershop inside the building said that the blast knocked some containers off a shelf and startled customers.
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The FBI said it is looking for a person of interest, described as a balding white man in his 40s who may be driving a dirty, 2000 or older model white pickup truck with paneling, an open tailgate and a missing or covered license plate.
“Some neighbors came out and said they saw a Caucasian gentleman get into a white truck,” said Gene Southerland, who owns Mr. G’s Hair Design Studios, which shares the building with the NAACP office.
“It was such a beautiful day and everything, sunny. And in broad daylight, you hear this explosion. It’s frightening,” he said.
Henry Allen, Jr., the chapter president of the NAACP, would not refer to the bombing as a hate crime. Instead, he told The Gazette that, “[w]e believe in civil rights for all, and really we won’t work in fear and we won’t be deterred.”
A neighbor said that the neighborhood where the blast took place is not always quiet, although the blast seemed to have rattled some nerves.