Remains of explosive device found in parking lot of medical office


FARMINGTON — An Aztec man witnessed an explosion from a device detonated near a Farmington medical office early Tuesday, stating he saw a large flash of light followed by one of the loudest explosions he's ever heard.

The Farmington Police Department is investigating an explosive device that detonated around 3:05 a.m. Tuesday along East 20th Street, according to a Farmington police press release.

Officers were dispatched to 505 E. 20th Street on reports of an explosion.

During the investigation, officers located the remains of an explosive device in the parking lot south of the family practice office of physician Dan Dunn. No injuries were reported.

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The explosion caused damage to a nearby shed and dented part of a nearby Dumpster, according to the release.

Several holes were found on the exterior of the shed facing the Dumpster, along with scorch marks from the explosion.

Members of the Farmington police bomb unit believe the explosion was made by the detonation of a modified gas sample cylinder.

Farmington police Chief Steve Hebbe said in a press release the explosion was a very serious incident, and detectives are collaborating with federal agents from the ATF and FBI on the investigation.

“We urge all citizens to report suspicious activity immediately by calling dispatch," Hebbe said in the press release.

Dunn declined to comment on the case. He stated he wanted to speak to law enforcement officials first.

Joe Sayre was on the delivery dock on the west side of the Smith's grocery store at 600 E. 20th St. when he glanced south and saw the explosion in between Johnny O's Spudnuts and a Wells Fargo bank.

"As I turned around, there was a really huge flash and an amazing boom," Sayre said.

The explosion shook the windows on the vehicles near Sayre.

"It was an extremely loud explosion," he said.

Sayre called police as smoke from the explosion rose into the sky, adding he felt shaken up for about 30 minutes following the blast.

Anyone with information about the explosion is encouraged to call the FPD Detective Tip Line at 505-599-1068, and anonymous tips can be submitted to San Juan County Crime Stoppers at 505-334-8477.

Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.

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