World & Nation

Those bombs at Kansas Capitol? Actually, fireworks, police say

Note to future visitors of the Kansas State Capitol: Next time, you might want to leave your improvised explosive devices at home.

Even if they’re, um, fireworks.

Police are still mum about the particulars of a Wednesday bomb scare in which they reenacted “Hurt Locker” on an illegally parked truck outside the statehouse.

On its surface, the incident had all the hallmarks of a potential act of domestic terrorism. During a contentious and highly visible political debate happening in the Legislature, a suspicious truck covered in aggressive bumper stickers was found in a place it didn’t belong. A bomb robot was called in, and it recovered multiple explosives, which police originally told media had been designed to spray shrapnel.


It turns out they were homemade fireworks, police said in a Friday afternoon news release.

They wouldn’t give out any more details — such as the size or strength of the fireworks, or who the driver was — but the new detail probably explains why police didn’t arrest the suspect shortly after they found him in a tunnel between the Capitol and some legislative offices. 

Whoever he is, and whatever he was doing at the Capitol, he may still be in hot water with the Kansas Highway Patrol: Authorities said the fireworks were illegal, and they plan to meet with the Shawnee County prosecutor’s office next week to discuss possible charges.



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