Three businesses in Washington, DC, were targeted in a series of assaults on Sunday morning, involving explosive devices and a Molotov cocktail. The incidents occurred within a short span of 15 minutes, affecting a Truist Bank, a Nike store, and a Safeway grocery store. Notably, the Nike shop was situated just a few blocks away from prominent government structures like the US Supreme Court and Capitol buildings. As of now, the perpetrator remains at large.
According to the metropolitan police, the initial blast took place at approximately 4:30 a.m. near the Truist bank on Washington Place, where a device was detonated on the sidewalk near the ATM. Around six minutes later, another explosive device was set off in front of the Nike store on H Street. Subsequently, at 4:45 a.m., the suspect arrived at the Safeway store on 40th Street and threw a Molotov cocktail-like object through a window. Fortunately, there were no individuals present at the establishments during the early morning hours, and no injuries were reported.
MPD and @ATFWashington seek the public's assistance in identifying suspects and a vehicle in reference to Destruction of Property offenses that occurred on Sunday, July 2, 2023, in the District.— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) July 2, 2023
Have info? Call (202) 727-9099/text 50411
Release: https://t.co/IvecJKuAeI pic.twitter.com/xKhxQ3xkHO
Law enforcement officials believe that the perpetrator’s intention was to inflict damage upon the businesses rather than targeting individuals. Currently, there is no further information available regarding the suspect or a possible motive, as authorities have not yet disclosed additional details..
Requests for comment made by The Washington Post to Safeway, Nike, and Truist went unanswered, according to their representatives.
The investigation into the incidents is being conducted jointly by the Metropolitan Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
The DC police have announced a reward of up to $10,000 for anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator.
Additionally, the ATF has agreed to match this reward, making the total reward amount for a credible tip up to $20,000.
Individuals who possess information regarding the incident, such as video or photographs of the targeted establishments, have been urged to reach out to the Metropolitan Police or send a text message to the tip line at 50411.
The act of throwing Molotov cocktails is not unprecedented in Washington, D.C. In a previous instance, a man was apprehended for hurling two Molotov cocktails at Capitol Police officers in the vicinity of Union Station.
Furthermore, on Thursday, another individual who had an active warrant related to the January 6th riot was arrested near the residence of former President Barack Obama in D.C. The individual was found in possession of multiple weapons in his vehicle, including the necessary components to construct a Molotov cocktail.