Florida Mall Targeted in Pipe Bomb Blast

23 January, 2018, 01:39 | Author: Julio Duncan
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"Initial reports of pipe bombs, IEDs, explosions or detonations of any kind at Eagle Ridge Mall were incorrect, as were reports that any additional risky materials were found during a thorough law enforcement search of mall property", mall officials said in a statement.

Lake Wales Police Deputy Chief Troy Schulze said the devices appeared to be a type of flare, placed inside a PVC pipe and then wrapped in electrical tape. Part of a drop ceiling was blown to the floor, and a wall of the corridor was singed.

The mall was evacuated. He was wearing a gray shirt and a gray hat and is considered a person of interest. No one was injured during the explosion, but a backpack was found in the same hall with other possible devices inside, authorities said. Emergency services personnel rushed to the scene where they discovered that an improvised explosive device (IED) had been detonated in the corridor.

Schulze said investigators will be looking for surveillance video of the person of interest.

"We're a family-oriented community, this is a family-oriented mall".


The FBI was notified of the devices, and said in a statement they will continue to work with local law enforcement on the investigation to find who was responsible.

"There is nothing at this time to indicate this act was terrorism", he said.

A bomb squad continued to sweep the mall and further investigations found the suspicious backpack to be a false alarm.

Lake Wales Police and the Sheriff have set up a perimeter and are still searching for the suspect.

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