Bomb outside Colorado Springs NAACP office hit day after holiday break

Posted at 12:38 PM, Jan 07, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-07 13:57:59-05

The improvised bomb that exploded outside the NAACP office in Colorado Springs Tuesday went off on the same day that workers returned after a two-week holiday break.

The voice mail for the NAACP said the office was closed December 22 to January 6. The bomb exploded at 10:45 a.m. on Jan. 6.

"Apparently someone don’t [sic] want us to speak on civil rights or be involved in it, but that’s not the way to get us to stop," said Henry Allen Jr., NAACP Colorado Springs president.

The bomb is being called an IED by the FBI.

"An improvised explosive device was detonated against the exterior wall of a building located at 603 South El Paso Boulevard, Colorado Springs, Colorado," the FBI said in a news release. "A gasoline can had been placed adjacent to the device, however, the contents of the can did not ignite upon explosion."

The FBI said no one was hurt in the explosion and there was "only minimal surface charring to the exterior wall of the building."

The NAACP said on its Facebook page that the explosion knocked items off the office walls.

The building has two tenants -- the NAACAP and Mr. G’s Hair Design Studios.

"I've always had it in my mind with civil rights and the NAACP and our affiliations and what have you, that there could be some danger," Mr. G's owner, Gene Southerland, said.

In a statement, the NAACP's Baltimore headquarters said, "The NAACP looks forward to a full and thorough investigation into this matter by federal agents and local law enforcement."

"Pray for our city. Pray for this organization. Even pray for the individual that left that bomb there," Allen said.

The FBI has described a potential person of interest in the investigation.

The person is a white man, about 40 years old and balding. He may be driving a 2000 or older model dirty, white pickup truck with paneling, a dark-colored bed liner, open tailgate, and a missing or covered license plate.

Anyone who has information about this man or the explosion is asked to call the FBI tip line at 303-435-7787.

"We'll move on," the NAACP Colorado Springs office wrote on its Facebook page. "This won't deter us from doing the job we want to do in the community."