An object resembling an improvised explosive device found in northern Killeen on Thursday was determined to be a bomb hoax.
Carroll Smith, spokeswoman for the Killeen Police Department, said the department received a call about the device about 9 a.m. and the police department, the Killeen Fire Department and Fort Hood’s Explosive Ordnance Detachment team were dispatched to the scene.
Smith said the owner of the truck had his vehicle parked at a friend’s house in the 1500 block of North Gray Street. When the friend went outside, he saw the device taped to the truck’s hood, took a picture of
it and sent it to the owner of the vehicle, who called police.
Smith said the incident was not related to Wednesday’s shooting at Fort Hood.
About 1 p.m. Thursday, a loud boom was heard in the area as the bomb squad assessed the package.
Shortly after, Smith said it was determined “there was no explosive hazards found in the package.”
Smith said police do not have a suspect, but evidence was collected from the scene and charges could be filed for creating a “hoax bomb.”
Smith said the bomb not being active is a “sigh of relief” for a community that is still reeling from Wednesday’s shooting.
“Our hearts are heavy for the families of the victims of the Fort Hood shooting,” she said. “By no means did we want anything else to hurt this community.
“They’re family of this community. We work hand in hand with Fort Hood on many things, and when they’re hurting, we’re hurting.”
The police department evacuated homes in an eight-block radius of where the device was found and bused some of the local residents to the Killeen Community Center until the order was lifted about 2:30 p.m.
Hilary Shine, spokeswoman for the city, said six people sought shelter at the facility.
Michelle Dupre, who lives on Second Street, said she found out about the incident when a police officer knocked on her door and told her she needed to leave her home.
“They said they didn’t like what they saw and they needed to evacuate the block,” she said. “I’m a little bit scared, but I’m glad they’re doing their job, and as long as they’re keeping me safe I’m fine.”
Jessica Dixon, who lives just outside of the area that was evacuated, said, “This is just crazy.”
“To be honest, this is just crazy, especially with everything that happened at Fort Hood (on Wednesday) night,” she said. “After that you already don’t know how to feel about it, and then this happens right here. It’s scary, especially when they start making people leave their houses.”
Contact Natalie Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 254-501-7555