The FBI is investigating an explosion outside the NAACP office in Colorado Springs, though it's not yet clear that the office was the intended target.
The explosion charred the exterior wall of the building, but no one was injured and no other damage was reported.
The FBI said it is looking for a person of interest, described as a balding white man in his 40s who may be driving a dirty, 2000 or older model, white pick-up truck with paneling, an open tailgate, and a missing or covered license plate.
"Some neighbors came out and said they saw a Caucasian gentleman get into white truck," said Gene Southerland, who owns Mr. G's Hair Design Studios, which shares the building with the NAACP office.
Two volunteers in the NAACPP office around 10:45 a.m. heard a loud "boom" that was strong enough to knock items off the walls, said Henry Allen Jr., president of the chapter. He was not there at the time, but said the volunteers looked outside to see what had happened, and saw what they described as a gas can rigged with some kind of incendiary device.
Allen said he is hesitant to call the explosion a hate crime without further information from the FBI and other law enforcement agencies investigating, but said the organization "will not be deterred." "We believe in civil rights for all, and really we won't work in fear and we won't be deterred," he said. "We'll move on. ... This won't deter us from doing the job we want to do in the community."
He said that at about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday he rushed to his office to see if any threats had been phoned in while people were out of the office for the holidays. Read on...
They're lucky the gas can didn't explode or this would have been a far worse and likely more tragic event.