According to a report, multiple explosive devices were found inside of a van near Center City Philadelphia on Wednesday night. Federal investigators and the city’s bomb squad were on scene.
The discovery of the explosive devices comes as violent riots continued in the city over the fatal police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr., 27, who ran at officers with a knife and ignored commands to stop.
A 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew was established for Wednesday night into Thursday morning as officials expected a third night of rioting, vandalism, and looting.
FOX 29 of Philadelphia reported that the federal investigators on scene were from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
Sources tell FOX 29 suspicious devices were found inside a vehicle in Logan Circle. https://t.co/zfJPFYgWsT
— FOX 29 (@FOX29philly) October 29, 2020
The van the explosives were found in was parked in Logan Circle (19th Street and Benjamin Franklin Parkway) in the Logan Square area, just west of Center City, the report said.
The devices, which were found around 10 p.m. ET, were described as “M-type” explosives, but no other information was immediately available.
It has since been revealed that police recovered multiple propane tanks, torches and possible dynamite sticks from the van.
Chaos in Philly
At the time, police were focused on looters who were targeting stores in the city’s Wynnefield section, which is not far from St. Joseph’s University.
According to a video posted by a reporter from local news outlet WPVI-TV, the front glass doors of a RiteAid pharmacy were smashed, and merchandise was lying on the ground outside.
Trump referred to the unrest in the city as “terrible,” and blamed the Democratic leadership in the city and the state of Pennsylvania, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“The mayor, or whoever it is, is allowing people to riot and loot and not stop them. It’s also just a horrible thing. I saw the event [the shooting of Wallace]. Everybody did. It was a terrible event. I guess that’s being looked at very strongly. The federal government is looking at it also,” said the president.
Biden spoke briefly about Philadelphia after voting in Delaware.
“I think to be able to protest is totally legitimate, totally reasonable. But there’s no excuse for the looting,” Biden told the Inquirer.
According to the Philadelphia Police, they made 81 arrests in Tuesday night’s rioting, with 23 police officers suffering injuries, the Inquirer reported.
The Pennsylvania National Guard are expected to be deployed in the city by Friday. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf declared a disaster emergency Wednesday so that he would be able to request additional support for dealing with the unrest, FOX 29 reported.
Many on the right believe that this violence and chaos is going to drive out support for President Trump, as they see him as the candidate for law and order.
DEVELOPING: local philadelphia resident says the ongoing BLM riots & civil unrest
— ELIJAH SCHAFFER (@ElijahSchaffer) October 28, 2020
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany put out a statement about the riots:
Our statement on the riots in Philadelphia ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/bfgPJDn9C2
— Kayleigh McEnany (@PressSec) October 28, 2020