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Residents on edge after two bombs found near downtown

Long Beach Police have a person of interest after two bombs were found near the downtown corridor, according to Chief...

Posted: Mar 12, 2018 12:43 PM
Updated: Mar 12, 2018 12:43 PM

Long Beach Police have a person of interest after two bombs were found near the downtown corridor, according to Chief Flint Wright.

Wright said officers were alerted Wednesday evening to a suspicious garbage bag nestled along a fence separating condos from a beachfront road – all just a few hundred feet away from the town's main drag.

"It's sinister – like messed up," said resident Heather Williamson. "That's pretty bad."

At first glance, it looked like a plastic bag of garbage. A responding officer peeked inside and thought he saw two candles.

He took the two bombs inside the police station, and a closer inspection prompted a call to Washington State Patrol's bomb squad.

Officers moved the bombs from the police station to a swampy area and waited for the experts.

A spokesman for WSP told FOX 12 bomb technicians X-rayed the bag, buried it and blew it up.

Investigators didn't mince words when they said the material inside the glass jars could've killed or seriously injured someone, although they added that the devices weren't entirely complete.

Wright said the bombs contained volatile chemicals mixed with pellets, shrapnel, and possibly rat poison.

"This is a device that is meant to kill someone," Wright said. "I'm angry at whoever built these things."

It's the talk of the town Thursday night at Long Beach Tavern. Manager Erin Haynes said many residents are on edge.

"A lot of people are bustling with who, what, when, where and why," Haynes said. "It's terrifying."

Residents tell FOX 12 they are less surprised that someone would do something so malicious, and more shocked that they were targeted.

"Especially around here. It's a really small town," Williamson said. "If they can make them, they can make more obviously. I mean, these ones got found, which is really lucky."

Long Beach police declined to offer more information about the person of interest and how that person was identified.

Wright is warning residents to be vigilant and report anything suspicious immediately to 911. Wright said officers have no idea if there's more bombs out there, but said it could be a possibility.

WSP said the case has been handed over to the FBI and Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Anyone with information about the suspect should contact Long Beach Police.

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