UPDATE: Rockford police investigate a possible car bomb, determining it to be a firework

Published: Apr. 12, 2018 at 11:18 AM CDT
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Updated: April 12, 2018, 6:45 p.m.

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- After hours of investigation, Rockford police and fire determine an explosion Thursday morning was not a bomb, but something far less dangerous.

"We heard a big 'boom' it shook the whole projects," said Michelle Grisby who lives in Blackhawk Courts, right across from where police received reports an explosion. The call came in around 9:40 Thursday morning near the intersection of Buckbee Street and Birch Court.

"I thought maybe kids were just out of school and they were probably playing with some fireworks or something like that. I didn't really think it was something this serious but they’ve got the bomb squad out there, so it's got to be serious," said Grisby.

Police brought in the Rockford Police Bomb Unit and a Rockford Fire Arson Investigator to examine a black Pontiac G6 they believe was involved.

"Usually bomb threats of this nature are a lot less common than other things we investigate," said Rockford Assistant Deputy Chief Mike Dalke.

Hours after starting the investigation, police learned someone put a firework under the car and it exploded.

"We generally don't see too many of these types of incidents, but again we are prepared and we do train for these things," said Dalke.

Even though police determined the explosion was a firework and not a bomb, some neighbors are still shaken up.

"What if there was a baby in that car and you blew it up, and then there the baby goes, gone," said Aaliyah Nelson who lived in Blackhawk Courts.

Beyer Elementary School went on lockdown for a short time while police investigated.

At this time authorities believe they have a suspect. Police describe him as a 20 to 30-year-old man, driving a white older model Oldsmobile. No one was hurt during this incident.


Posted: April 12, 2018, 12:20 p.m.

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The Rockford Police Department is investigating a possible explosive incident in the Blackhawk Housing Complex.

The bomb squad is checking out a vehicle that may be related to the incident that happened at 9:45 Thursday morning.

At this time, police are interviewing witnesses. They say the car involved is a black Pontiac.

There have been no injuries reported.