February 21, 2009 in City

Cops find no link between bomb, guns

Former student faces no charge in either find
By The Spokesman-Review
Courtesy of Brian Schaeffer, Spokane Fire Department photo

Several rifles were found in a storage unit off the Gonzaga University campus. Courtesy of Brian Schaeffer, Spokane Fire Department
(Full-size photo)

A Molotov cocktail found at Gonzaga University, a student expelled and guns found off campus painted a frightening picture Thursday.

The discoveries of the homemade bomb and the guns remain under investigation, but one has nothing to do with the other, authorities said Friday. No one has been charged in relation to either case.

The chain of events began Tuesday when GU security called the Spokane Fire Department about a Molotov cocktail in a dormitory parking lot.

“The homemade device had been there for weeks, probably buried by snow,” said Spokane police Sgt. Keith Cummings.

A GU security guard told investigators he had a “hunch” Timothy D. Parker, 18, and his roommate had something to do with it, so police went to the students’ room. Parker’s roommate allowed police to search the room.

A nonexplosive substance called thermite was found, but it’s not illegal to possess it, Cummings said. The thermite, a mix of metal powder and oxide, was not connected to the Molotov cocktail.

Parker, no longer a student at Gonzaga, is in Portland with his parents. He has not been charged with any crime, officials said.

Efforts to reach Parker for comment Friday were not successful.

Parker’s roommate, who has not been identified, was not expelled or suspended from Gonzaga, said Jeffery Hart, assistant dean of students.

Through the course of the investigation, detectives spoke with other students. One of them directed police to a storage unit believed to contain guns, Cummings said.

Police found five rifles, one of which they believed was stolen in a series of burglaries near Gonzaga, authorities said.

Meanwhile, several parents of Gonzaga students have contacted Hart after hearing the trickle of news released Thursday. “They just wanted to be assured things were being handled,” Hart said.

Along with Spokane police and fire, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is investigating.

Reach Jody Lawrence-Turner at (509) 459-5593 or jodyl@spokesman.com.

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