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MassCops Angel
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Associated Press Writer

DALTON, Ga. --
A man suspected of setting off an explosion Friday at a small-town law firm in northern Georgia died in the blast that also injured four people at the office, authorities said.
An officer arrived and saw a man get out of a sport utility vehicle and Police were called to a disturbance at the firm just before the explosion. run behind the building. The explosion followed, Dalton police Lt. Bruce Frazier said. It wasn't clear whether an explosive device was planted or was on the suspect, Frazier said.
An attorney at the firm who left the office just before the blast said employees told him they saw a man trying to drive his vehicle into the building and locked the doors. Investigators were searching the 71-year-old suspect's house and thought there might be a bomb in his vehicle at the scene, Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesman John Bankhead said. The suspect's name was not immediately released.
Witnesses said windows were blown out at McCamy, Phillips, Tuggle & Fordham in Dalton, 26 miles southeast of Chattanooga, Tenn.
The building was still on fire more than four hours after the initial explosion, and officials were waiting for firefighters to get the blaze under control before searching the truck and the building, Bankhead said.
"Our primary focus right now is just getting the fire out because it's a crime scene, and we obviously want to get as much evidence as possible out of there," Frazier said.
Two of the injured were treated at a hospital and released, one was admitted and a fourth was taken to a burn center.
Attorney Robert Smalley, a lawyer at the firm, left 15 to 20 minutes before the blast but turned back when he received phone calls about it.
He said those injured were his assistant, Teresa Stinnett, attorney Jim Phillips and two clients. Phillips was taken to the burn center.
"We'll take today with our families and try to regroup," he said "Our thoughts right now are with the injured and their families."
He said Stinnett has a shoulder injury but is going to be OK. Smalley said he was able to visit with Phillips after the explosion.
The eight-lawyer firm, founded in 1932, works out of a two-story, colonial-style house. Police cordoned off the block and shut down a post office near the law firm, which specializes in personal injury and wrongful death cases, according to its Web site.
Students at an elementary school across the street were evacuated to a nearby church.
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Associated Press writers Greg Bluestein, Walter Putnam and Dorie Turner in Atlanta contributed to this report.

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MassCops Angel
121,497 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
'Incendiary device' Rocks Missouri Office Building

CLAYTON, Mo._A packaged "incendiary device" exploded in a suburban St. Louis parking garage on Thursday, injuring the man who picked it up, rocking an office high-rise and forcing hundreds of people to evacuate.
The package was sitting near the 69-year-old man's assigned parking spot, but authorities wouldn't say whether he was the intended target. His injuries were not considered life-threatening, said Clayton Police Chief Thomas Byrne.
"He picked up a package sitting next to his car and it exploded," Byrne said, calling the package an "incendiary device" but not elaborating.
"We don't know who set it or why it was there," Byrne said.
The parking garage is shared by office and residential buildings. No damage was apparent from outside the complex.
A Ritz-Carlton Hotel also sits nearby in Clayton, a busy, well-to-do suburb that is the seat of St. Louis County and home to many of the region's biggest law firms, financial offices and other white-collar businesses, as well as posh hotels and restaurants.
The explosion shortly after 11 a.m. rocked the high-rise building, witnesses said. Buildings were evacuated, leaving several hundred people to mingle for hours on a lawn.
By mid-afternoon, police and a bomb-sniffing dog were still searching the office building for any additional devices, but people were allowed to return to the residential building and the hotel.
Lisa Pogue, 51, secretary for a law firm in the office building, said she heard a boom and felt the building shake. Fire alarms went off, prompting a mass exodus.
"It was alarming," she said. "There was definitely something wrong."
The FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were helping local authorities investigate, Byrne said.

Story From: AP Wire Service

MassCops Angel
121,497 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
FBI office in St. Louis: No connection with Ga. bombing

By Patrick M. O'Connell
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

CLAYTON, Mo. - The bomb that exploded in a Clayton parking garage Thursday was planted the day before by a man seen in surveillance video wearing a bright poncho, police said Friday.
He wore a hood and sunglasses, and carried helium balloons that helped conceal his face.
But the development seemed to bring investigators no closer to the identity of the bomber - they can't even tell his race - or to whether the lawyer injured by the blast was its intended target.
Police said they think the bomber is a man, but did not indicate how they could tell.
The video shows him carrying a wicker basket decorated with a bow, entering the garage on Carondelet Plaza about 4:40 p.m. Wednesday. That's about 18½ hours before the 11 a.m. explosion that injured John Gillis, 69, who lived in the residential-office complex there.
Cameras did not photograph the area where the bomb was left. Police said Gillis found a package next to the driver's door of his car in its assigned parking space. He picked it up, triggering an explosion and flash fire that sprinklers contained.
Gillis was hospitalized and expected to survive the injuries, officials said. His condition was not available Friday.
The basket held a "relatively sophisticated" device, St. Louis County police spokeswoman Tracy Panus said.
Gillis is senior counsel at Armstrong Teasdale, a large law firm based in downtown St. Louis. He is a graduate of Washington University and the Stanford University law school.
Investigators interviewed lawyers at Armstrong Teasdale on Friday, searched Gillis' apartment in the high-end residential tower at 150 Carondelet Plaza, and interviewed people who work or park there.
Armstrong Teasdale spokeswoman Lou Ann P. Wilcox would not comment on what Gillis was working on. His online résumé says he is an expert in securities law and mergers and acquisitions.
A company statement said, in part, "John represents the best of Armstrong. This is a tragedy."
Reached by phone Friday evening, Gillis' daughter declined to comment.
Officials discounted as coincidence the fact that the head of the FBI office in St. Louis is John Gillies, The name similarity spurred some speculation of mistaken identity.
They also said there appeared to be no connection to the bombing of a law office in Georgia on Friday morning.
The video shows the man in the poncho walking up a ramp of the open-access multilevel garage, between an office building and the tower where Gillis lived.
On the sixth level, he can be seen crouching with the balloons and the basket by a concrete pillar for about 10 minutes. He then leaves the view of the camera, which is when police think he put the basket beside the car in spot 654. He walked out the way he entered.
Several people saw the package over the next day, but Gillis was the first to pick it up, Panus said.
Investigators declined to specify the nature of the bomb. The concrete floor and ceiling where it detonated were discolored and still covered Friday with bits of debris, but the damage was hard to notice at a glance.
Reaction of people interviewed at the complex Friday ranged from indifference to apprehension.
Patti Bear, a legal secretary at the Husch, Blackwell and Sanders law firm, said, "It was extremely tense in the office." She said police escorted her to her vehicle Thursday evening and examined if before letting her drive away.
Police said they hope someone in the area Wednesday afternoon will recall the man in the poncho. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 314-889-2341.
Robert Patrick of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.

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