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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Northpointe Plaza Walmart closed briefly as Spokane police investigate explosive device in motor home

UPDATED: Sat., March 2, 2019

Northpointe Walmart in north Spokane was closed the morning of Friday, March 1, 2019 after Spokane police found an explosive device in a motor home in the store’s parking lot. (Jonathan Glover / The Spokesman-Review)
Northpointe Walmart in north Spokane was closed the morning of Friday, March 1, 2019 after Spokane police found an explosive device in a motor home in the store’s parking lot. (Jonathan Glover / The Spokesman-Review)

Northpointe Walmart in north Spokane was closed briefly Friday morning after Spokane police found an explosive device in a motor home in the store’s parking lot.

Police found the device while executing a search warrant in the vehicle after it was reported stolen earlier that morning, said Sgt. Terry Preuninger, spokesman for the Spokane Police Department.

James Torgerson, 27, was arrested in connection with the incident. He was booked in the Spokane County Jail at about 4 a.m. on a recommended charge of unlawful possession of a firearm.

After entering the motor home, Preuninger said officers found what appeared to be an explosive device and a “liquid substance” that “may have been hazardous.” They also found more firearms, cash, drugs and counterfeit money.

Chief Brian Schaeffer of the Spokane Fire Department said the liquid substance was tested, but experts weren’t able to determine its exact nature. However, he said firefighters ruled out “anything that would be immediately dangerous to life and health.”

The Spokane Fire Department was still testing the substance Friday.

Preuninger said a bomb unit remotely disabled the explosive device, which appeared to be a homemade contraption with black powder in it.

A police Special Investigations Unit was continuing to investigate Friday. Preuninger said more charges against Torgerson could be pending.

Torgerson has at least two felony convictions on his record, and several active charges, including forgery and eluding a police vehicle.

His first appearance in court will be Monday.

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