PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – McMinnville police say an explosion that damaged a home and nearby cars on Thursday was caused by an Improvised Explosive Device, and they are now searching for the person responsible.
It was a blast heard more than a mile away. The family, still in shock a day later, wants answers.
“Who would do this to us?” Brianna Flores, the woman living in the home, said. “Like, what have we done for someone to come and drop off this explosive device?”
Flores said the sonic boom shook her family awake just before 3 a.m..
“It sounded like the largest firework ever had gone off right next to our bedroom,” she said. “I instantly just thought it was the transformer or cables…but when I opened the back doors, there was a huge plume of smoke.”
Flores says she and her wife were surprised to see that the sound and smoke hadn’t come from a fire, but rather an IED with shrapnel, which McMinnville officials say went off between the home and the sidewalk at Northeast 11th Street and Evans.
“All the windows were gone on our house, leaves were here. I didn’t realize that I was even stepping on glass, barefoot at the time. And we saw the large mark on the house as well,” Flores said. “So that was a little terrifying.”
Authorities say they found a small crater in a flowerbed next to the home. The blast was powerful enough to blow out house and car windows – with shrapnel tearing through trees, siding, and a nearby fence.
Still shaken, Flores says she doesn’t believe the attack was targeted, because she and her family feel safe seeing the overwhelming support from neighbors and police.
“We are a same sex couple. We go to work, we come home, we try to keep things quiet and tame,” she said. “But just the fact that people now know who we are and are OK with it and are helping us, it really makes me feel a lot better to be in this community.”
McMinnville police say they are in contact with the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco, and Explosives as they continue to investigate. Authorities are asking neighbors living in the area to share video around the time of the blast as they search for the culprit.
Flores said she hopes whoever is responsible is brought to justice so this doesn’t happen to anyone else, because she thinks the outcome could have been much worse.
“It could have gone through our window, it could have ended up at someone else’s house…someone’s child’s bedroom,” she said. “And the way it exploded and threw debris 20 feet, 15 feet to my car, across our gate; that could very much hurt someone. I hope they get caught.”
Flores’ family has created a GoFundMe for those interested in donating toward the recovery of their home.
Authorities also ask for any video footage from those living within the boundaries from Northeast Fifth Street to 19th Street or Northeast Baker Street to Galloway Street – specifically if the video shows the roadway in front of your house.
Those with information are asked to contact Detective Josh Eckroth at his desk number 503-435-5611, cell number 503-437-1931, or email at email@example.com. You can also leave an anonymous message with the McMinnville PD at 503-434-2337. Reference case No. 23-3505.
Stray with KOIN 6 as this story develops.