Yakima police: Suspicious devices had 'potential to kill'

YAKIMA, Wash. -- A series of explosions rattled a downtown neighborhood near Chestnut and Eleventh Avenues, Thursday night.

"This wasn't a fire work or something else that was disguised to make a loud noise," said Yakima Police Lieutenant, Mike Pollard.
"This was a device that had the potential to kill somebody."

At least five devices -- that had the power to kill -- were found in the neighborhood. The homemade bombs were wrapped in water bottles. One of them scorched a bush. With so much dry shrubbery nearby, the fire could have easily grown larger.

Vivian Cardenas lives and works nearby. She said she felt the blast.

"Bigger than fire crackers, sound," Vivian said. "But I never thought it was a bomb until this morning when I walked into the office."

Vivian worried some of the explosives could have also been planted in the shrubs outside of her work.

"Afraid. I'm shaking right now. I don't want to be here," Vivian said.

YPD tells KIMA this event is the first of its kind.

"I can't recall a single incident where we had a detonation of a single, yet alone multiple devices," Pollard said.

The explosives seemed to surround a nearby Spanish church. Police say it appears the bombs were set to go off at different times.

"Was it designated for first responders? Was it designated for the individual where the device was left," Pollard said.

William Brannin lives next to the church. He also heard and saw the blasts.

"The second bang I saw like an orange glow and I thought fire," William said.

Like investigators, the explosions leave William with unanswered questions.


"You think it's a bomb, it's fire works. When you think it's fire works it's a bomb," William said. "So, I don't know what to think any more."

Other neighbors are just as worried.

"I'm scared. I'm worried. I don't want to live somewhere where there's bombs going off," Krystle Sandel said.

Police don't have any suspects or a motive in this case.

KIMA and YPD looked into your reports of other blasts around town.

Police think these explosives were limited to the area around Chestnut.

However, officers warn you to be on the lookout for similar suspicious devices.