COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – The FBI is helping investigate Monday’s small explosion at a building that houses an NAACP office in Colorado Springs.
No one was injured, and the blast caused minor damage. Some streets were closed.
An FBI spokeswoman said Monday afternoon it was seeking “a potential person of interest,” a white male about 40 years old. He may be driving an older model white pick-up with paneling.
The explosion happened just before 11 a.m. outside a building at 603 South El Paso St. The building is home to an NAACP office, an income tax center and a hair salon called Mr. G’s Hair Design Studio.
Law enforcement didn’t say whether they believed the NAACP was targeted.
But the Denver NAACP office, meanwhile, called the incident a hate crime.
“This is proof that racism is still alive and reared its ugly head in the form of this cowardly act. Regardless of the actions of others, we will continue to fight for the equality of all people,” it said in a statement.
Henry D. Allen Jr., the president of the NAACP Colorado Springs, said that while the explosion hasn’t been connected to the group, Tuesday’s incident wouldn’t deter them.
“We don’t give up the struggle. Apparently, we’re doing something correct. Apparently, we have gotten someone’s attention that we are working toward civil rights for all. That is making some people uncomfortable,” he said.
The national NAACP said it’s aware of the incident and that the safety of those in the building is its primary concern.
Investigators said the bomb had three parts — including gasoline, a rad flare and pipe — and they’re being examined for clues.
One neighbor said the explosion was so intense, it shook the walls of his house. Another said she heard what she thought was a car exploding.
Police and the FBI said they are checking whether the device was crafted by someone intentionally and if the NAACP was specifically targeted.
One member of the NAACP office also hinted that their group was the likely target.
“Who would want to bomb a beauty salon?” she told CBS4.
Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI Denver tip line at 303-435-7787.