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Michigan State University police find 9 bombs outside residence hall

From U-Wire
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
November 12, 1999
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Ann Arbor, Mich. - Nine homemade bombs were found outside of Philips Residence Hall at Michigan State University Wednesday morning. Three of the bombs exploded some time between 11 p.m. Tuesday and 8 a.m. Wednesday, MSU Police Detective Tony Willis said.

The bombs did not injure anyone, Willis said.

He explained that the bombs were allegedly constructed with household chemicals in 20-ounce plastic Gatorade bottles.

A Philips resident discovered the bombs in the courtyard between Philips and the connecting Snyder Residence Hall.

A staff member in Philips then informed MSU Police of the explosives.

Police arrived at the scene Wednesday at 8 a.m. with the Michigan State Police bomb squad, which operates out of Lansing, Mich. Police evacuated residents living in the basement and the first floor of Philips whose rooms were adjacent to the courtyard.

Willis said police have no suspects, but he explained that MSU Police will first focus its investigation on Philips residents and expand from there.

In addition to determining what chemicals were used to make the bombs, MSU Police are attempting to identify a suspect by using fingerprints found on the bottles.

Any suspect found guilty of making the bombs could be charged with a felony offense of possession and creation of an explosive device, which carries a minimum sentence of four years in prison.

Mohamad Pedram, who lives on the second floor of Philips near the courtyard, said the bombs were "pretty loud, like gunshots."

Philips resident Ashley Dehr said the idea that the bombs were placed in the courtyard, where many students often play football, concerns her.

"It doesn't make us feel safe," Dehr said. "It makes us have to be more careful."

Willis said yesterday's discovery is not connected to prior incidents at Philips. On Oct. 20, a female student at Philips was assaulted when a man entered her unlocked residence hall room.

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