Bomb-like devices explode at Ashland High

Ashland police are sending three homemade incendiary devices that were detonated in Ashland High School's quad late Tuesday or early Wednesday to a crime lab to check for fingerprints, police said this morning.

The bomb-like devices consisted of wine bottles filled with gasoline or a similar substance, Ashland Police Chief Terry Holderness said.

A fourth device made of a glass food container was also lit with a fuse but did not detonate, he said.

No one was injured and nothing was damaged in the blasts.

School officials found remnants of the glass bottles strewn across the quad before school started at 7:40 a.m. Wednesday and called police, Holderness said.

The devices did not appear to be sophisticated creations, he said.

"Pouring gasoline in a bottle is not a terribly difficult thing to do," he said. "Probably the simplest incendiary device is a simple Molotov cocktail, which is pretty close to what these were." Detectives are hoping the crime lab will find fingerprints on the bottles, leading them to suspects.

"Generally when something happens on a high school campus it's (done by) students, but not always, and this is an unusual situation," Holderness said. "We do have quite a bit of physical evidence." Whoever detonated the bombs could be charged with vandalism and possibly attempted arson, he said.

However, Holderness said the incendiary devices didn't appear to be placed where they could easily cause a fire.

Under Oregon law, incendiary devices are not always considered bombs, he said.

"If the incendiary devices were not put in a place that was likely to cause a fire, they're not considered the same as a bomb," he said. "It's really how it's used that determines what the charges are."

—Hannah Guzik

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