Expert weighs in after explosives found outside home on southeast side

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Police say a homeowner found two explosives outside a southeast side home overnight.

Just before midnight, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department responded to the home on Candy Spots Court, which is near Thompson Road and South Arlington Avenue.

The bomb squad was also called in and detonated the incendiary devices, which had been placed near the front and back doors.

“An incendiary device and an explosive device are very similar to each other. It’s just that in an incendiary device you typically use a flammable liquid. In an explosive device, you’ll use a propellant powder like black powder or smokeless powder. Both are designed to cause destruction and human injury and death," said IUPUI Associate Director of Forensic Sciences, John Goodpaster.

A crew at the scene saw an officer go near the home in a protective suit and then place at least one of the devices inside a canister. Police also shouted “fire in the hole” before detonation.

“In this case when a bomb squad responds the way in which they deal with devices depends a lot on what the device is, how it’s positioned, and it’s a very situation-specific kind of response," said Goodpaster.

Goodpaster adds that these devices are hand-made and simple due to most people not having access to explosives.

The remaining parts of both devices were bagged and taken for evidence.

“With improvised devices, there is a lot of evidence left behind, even if the device has exploded. Forensic scientists can look at the materials that were used, they can try to find out where those materials came from, you can look for fingerprints on devices, DNA can be found on devices. So there’s an array of forensic techniques that can be used and all of that can be used to link a particular device to a suspect," said Goodpaster.

Police said no threats were made toward the homeowners and believe there’s no remaining threat to the community. They don’t have information about a possible suspect. The case remains under investigation.

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