On Tuesday, officials said an explosion outside of a NAACP building in Colorado was a deliberate detonation using an "improvised explosive device." The apparently homemade device was set against the exterior of the building near a gasoline can, which did not ignite. Fortunately, no one was injured, and the building suffered only minor damage.
The explosion is being investigated by the FBI in Denver; the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the Colorado Springs Police Department. The FBI is seeking a person of interest, a balding white male in his 40s who might have been driving a pickup truck.
Henry Allen Jr., president of the Colorado Springs NAACP chapter, told The Colorado Springs Gazette that he won't call the explosion a hate crime without more information from law enforcement, but he won't allow it to affect the work the organization does.
We believe in civil rights for all, and really we won't work in fear and we won't be deterred. We'll move on. This won't deter us from doing the job we want to do in the community.
The NAACP released a statement that read:
No injuries were reported in what is believed to be an explosion near the Colorado Springs NAACP Branch located on the 600 block of S. El Paso St. The cause of the explosion is still unknown. The NAACP looks forward to a full and thorough investigation into this matter by federal agents and local law enforcement.