LAS CRUCES, New Mexico — An unknown explosive device was set off in a mailbox near Calvary Baptist Church and another in a trash bin at Holy Cross Catholic Church. No injuries were reported.
The blasts occurred as churchgoers were getting ready for Sunday mass, KFOX reported.
From Las Cruces Sun-News: “It was a real bomb, I saw all the parts,” said Cavalry Baptist member Dennis Llewellyn, who said he was outside the church when the explosive went off. Llewellyn said he was a former special forces member with the Marines and recognized the bomb parts that included an Everready battery. He and fellow church member Mike Stewart kept those churchgoers arriving for the 8:30 a.m. service from going into the building during the five to 10 minutes it took for police to arrive. Stewart was the one to notice the debris and damaged mailbox, the two men said.
“Right now, there’s just a lot of paper shreds,” said Las Cruces police spokesperson Sgt. Robert Gutierrez. “We’re thinking someone put a lot of fireworks together.”
Both buildings were evacuated. Police and a bomb squad were on scene.
No further details were available.
(Las Cruces, also known as “The City of the Crosses”, is the county seat of Doña Ana County, New Mexico, United States. As of 2014 the population is 101,408 making it the second largest city in the state, after Albuquerque.)