REPORT: Explosions From Bombings, IEDs Rock Homeless Encampment In Seattle, Police Say

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Matthew Nielsen Contributor
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Police are now stating that an explosion that rocked a Seattle homeless camp last Friday was likely caused by multiple improvised explosive devices in what appears to be a targeted attack.

Early on Friday morning, police responded to a large fire in downtown Seattle, with the blaze reaching over 40 feet in the air, according to a police report the Daily Caller obtained from the Seattle Police Department. Upon arrival, officers reported hearing gunfire and multiple secondary explosions.

The source of the blaze was a large homeless encampment, located between the I-5 and Harborview Medical Center, which a witness told police was deliberately targeted with IEDs. Nearby residents told KOMO News that there was a tent inside the encampment where individuals could pay admission and go inside and take drugs. According to the police report, this tent was the target of the attack, with 20 “customers” inside using drugs just before the detonation of the IEDs. (RELATED: 8 Inmates Overdosed On Fentanyl In The Same Day At Tennessee Prison)

The witness also told police that the suspect, two weeks prior, had “shot at both the ‘old smoking tent’ and ‘new smoking tent’ and held the people inside the tents at gunpoint, robbing them of ‘everything'” and was later shot in retaliation by the members of the homeless encampment. The suspect, who was believed to be dead, according to the witness, was seen on the homeless camp’s security cameras the morning prior to the explosion, the police report explained. The witness, who found the IEDs, told police that the suspect had been teaching members of the camp to make the bombs two years earlier. Thankfully, the witness recognized the IEDs and proceeded to evacuate the camp, preventing any casualties from the explosion.

Seattle has seen recent spikes in drug related crime and overdose fatalities, with over a third of Seattle residents reporting having “seriously considered moving from the city,” according to The Seattle Times.