WASHINGTON, Pa. (KDKA) – Police are reviewing surveillance video and talking with witnesses to try and find whoever threw an explosive device at a fence outside of a Washington, Pa. apartment building.

While there were initial reports that the incident may have been racially motivated, the evidence isn’t stacking up.

“I was sitting in the living room and I heard a boom and I jumped off the couch and ran to the door and saw a great big cloud of smoke,” John Wheeler, a neighbor, said.

It shook the building, and the noise could be heard miles away.

“It seems like just a random firework was detonated,” Washington Police Chief Robert Lemons said.

Police are not sure what kind of firework or explosive was used to damage a fence outside of the Jefferson Place apartment building.

However, they said it does not appear to be any homemade device. Luckily, no one was hurt.

“I consider that real dangerous, cause you do have a whole bunch of kids running around here. So, for people to just ride around here and throw things out their window, that shouldn’t be tolerated,” one man said.

One neighbor said he and others saw a car driving past last night and some believe racial slurs were yelled out right before the explosion.

However, police said that conflicts with evidence and other witnesses also disagree.

“It was not a drive-by bombing as some people are reporting to us. It was just an isolated incident that had no motivation towards any one person,” Chief Lemons said.

“This is not a black thing. This is not a white thing. This was just some people trying to have some fun and did the wrong thing,” Wheeler said.

While the investigation is ongoing, police say when they arrest the person responsible they could be facing an array of charges ranging from destruction of property to recklessly endangering other people.


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