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A DC Nike store, Safeway and ATM were targeted with explosives. Now the hunt is on to catch a hooded suspect

Metropolitan Police are hunting for a hooded figure and suspect vehicle after explosive devices were detonated one by one across three Washington DC businesses. Rachel Sharp reports

Monday 03 July 2023 14:22 BST
One of the damaged businesses (left), the suspect (right) and suspect vehicle (inset)
One of the damaged businesses (left), the suspect (right) and suspect vehicle (inset) (@AJKoski16/ MD)

In the dead of the night over July 4 weekend, explosives were detonated one by one across three businesses in Washington DC.

First, an ATM was targeted. Then a nearby Nike store was damaged. And, lastly, a Safeway supermarket was struck.

The attacks left the nation’s capital on edge and perplexed as to who the perpetrator is and what their motive may be.

Now, the hunt is on to track down a mystery hooded figure and a suspect vehicle.

Here’s what we know so far:

The attacks

The series of attacks all took place within a 15-minute period in the early hours of Sunday morning – a time when the streets of the city were deserted.

At around 4.30am, the unidentified suspect detonated an explosive device on the sidewalk outside of the ATM at the Truist Bank in the 2300 block of Washington Place, in the northeast of the city.

After fleeing the scene in a vehicle, the suspect struck a second time – this time targeting the Nike Store located in the 700 block of H Street.

At 4.36am, the device was detonated on the sidewalk in front of the store doors before the suspect again fled the scene by car.

Scene of one of the blasts (@AJKoski16)

Just nine minutes later, the same suspect allegedly threw a “Molotov cocktail style object” at the Safeway store on the 300 block of 40th Street.

The suspect fled in the scene in a vehicle.

All three locations were damaged by the explosions but no injuries were reported.

Metropolitan Police Department said that, in each of the attacks, the suspect targeted commercial establishments which were all closed at the time and does not appear to have been targeting members of the public.

DC residents in fear

A political consultant who lives lives in the apartments above the Truist Bank spoke of her terror as the explosive device detonated outside the ATM below as she slept.

Amanda Koski told The Independent: “The noise woke me up. I have PTSD so when it happened, I kind of froze up and originally I thought it was gunshots.

“When I looked through my window, I saw glass shattered so I originally thought someone had shot at the bank.”

She said the neighbourhood was eerily quiet after the blast, before police and fire officials arrived on the scene.

The 32-year-old shared photos of the damage on social media.

Mystery hooded suspect

Hours after the incidents, Metropolitan Police released surveillance images of the suspect as well as a vehicle wanted in connection to the attacks.

The suspect was dressed in black trousers and a white/cream hooded top.

Surveillance image of the suspect and vehicle from the DC attacks (MPD)

The vehicle is a gold or champagne-coloured Acura TL with Maryland licence plate 17971CK.

The Metropolitan Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Washington Field Division are seeking the public’s help in identifying the suspect or suspects.

A reward of up to $20,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest.

Anyone who may have any information about these incidents, to include video or photos from any of the offense location are encouraged to call MPD at (202) 727-9099 or text your tip to the Department’s TEXT TIP LINE at 50411.

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