An improvised explosive device detonated outside the NAACP office building in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Tuesday but failed to ignite a companion gasoline can, FBI investigators said. The IED exploded against an exterior wall about 10:45 a.m. MST (12:45 p.m. EST), the Associated Press reported.
No one was injured in the explosion, FBI spokesperson Amy Sanders said. Investigators are looking for a white man in his 40s seen driving a pickup truck near the scene, Sanders said.
The NAACP headquarters building suffered minor damage, as did a barbershop housed in the same building.
Along with the FBI and Colorado Springs Police Department, the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was investigating, said Christopher Amon, acting spokesman for the Denver ATF office.
Duct tape and pieces of metal were found 40 to 50 feet from the blast site, investigators said.
It’s unclear if anyone was in the NAACP office at the time of the blast, but Gene Southerland, owner of the barbershop, said that he heard the explosion.
“I made sure my three customers were OK, then walked outside,” Southerland said. “On the northeast side of the building I saw a red gas can on the ground. Neighbors started walking out of their houses asking me, ‘What happened, what happened?’”
“It’s messed up, man. It’s horrible,” Southerland said. “In broad daylight? Just goes to show there’s always a threat.”
NAACP chapter President Henry Allen Jr. told the Colorado Springs Gazette he would be hesitant to call the explosion a hate crime, but said he was looking forward to a full investigation.
"This won't deter us from doing the job we want to do in the community," Allen said.