UPDATE 11:55 a.m.: CORRECTION Santa Monica Police Sgt. Jay Trisler reports that no bomb has been found. The sound of an explosion was a mechanical failure of a device authorities are currently searching for. For more details, click HERE.
UPDATE: 11:15 a.m. Preliminary reports indicate that an explosive device failed to detonate due to a mechanical failure at a Jewish Synagogue in the early morning hours of April 7 in Santa Monica.
Eyewitnesses reported that the Los Angeles Police Department Bomb Squad is on scene, along with the FBI, assisting the Santa Monica Police Department at the crime scene. Sgt. Jay Trisler of the Santa Monica Police said that contrary to initial widely circulated media reports, the explosive device did not detonate.
Nonetheless, as a precaution, authorities have evacuated the homes and business in a four block radius from where the report was called in, reportedly in the parking lot of the The Chabad House Lubavitch of Santa Monica, a Jewish place of worship located at 1428 17th Street.
Whether or not this is was a targeted hate crime remains to be determined. What is known is that Chabad House Lubavitch is a orthodox Jewish, and passover is only ten days away. Los Angles, of which Santa Monica abuts, is home to the second largest U.S. Jewish population, second only to New York. Attempts to reach leaders of the Chabad synagogue were unsuccessful as of the time of this report.
Police have evacuated the neighborhood surrounding the scene, which spans from 15th Street to 18th Street on the west and east, and from Santa Monica Boulevard on the north and Colorado Avenue on the south. A space for evacuees has been set up at the Police Activities League gymnasium on the corner of 14th Street and 1401 Olympic Boulevard as authorities continue their investifation and secure the area. The American Red Cross of Santa Monica is providing canteen services (refreshments) at the site.
Details to come as they unfold… check back with us at smmirror.com