Detonated Bombs

This first section only includes bombs that ignite or detonate. This is a select list and does not contain all instances of detonated bombs in the Twin Cities.  It does not include suspicious packages, bomb threats, fake bombs, or near-bombings.

Nov 2020 – Lake Elmo, MN. Pipe bomb. No property damage: explosion only. Near 8000 bl 27th St N. November 2, 2020 (election eve). [Twin, Mary Divine, November 6, 2020].

Nov 2020 – Afton, MN. Pipe bomb. No property damage: explosion only. Near Trading Post Trail and 59th St. November 2, 2020 (election eve). [Twin, Mary Divine, November 6, 2020].

Jun 2020 – Apple Valley, MN. Dakota County Western Service Center, consisting of “judicial facilities” and associated offices was firebombed with Molotov cocktails. The two arrestees had attended the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis. The attack occurred on May 29th. Windows were broken on the ground level and there was fire and water damage to the building. [Sun-Thisweek, May 29, 2020]. Read More Here.

Mar 2020 – North Branch, MN. Pipe bomb. It was found exploded along the side of a road on 420th Street, half a mile east of Forest Boulevard. There was no apparent damage. [CBS News, March 21, 2020]. Read More Here.

Window allegedly broken at the Dakota County Western Service Center by a Molotov cocktail attack in June 2020. [Photo courtesy of the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office Facebook].

Aug 2017 – Dar al-Farooq Islamic Center, Bloomington, MN. A PVC pipe bomb was thrown through a window of an Islamic Center. Extensive damage resulted. Investigated by the FBI, three men from Illinois were arrested. [DOJ: U.S. Attorney’s Office press release, March 13, 2018].

Aug 2011 – A Hamline University student was arrested on charges of detonating explosive devices called “works bombs” similar to McGyver bombs. One blew up near the university’s security office. Five bombs were recovered. St. Paul. [St. Paul Pioneer Press, Aug 11, 2011, B2, Local briefing].

Feb 2008 – Blaine Dairy Store, Blaine, MN.  On January 27th three men entered the store, lit and threw Molotov cocktails which destroyed the store. The owner was of Arab descent. The owner suffered cuts and burns. [Pioneer Press, by Brady Gerais, February 8, 2008].

Jul 2000 – A bomb was detonated on the windshield of a van in Norwood Young America creating a six-inch hole. Police believe the van’s owner, who lived nearby, was the target of the bomb. [Homemade Bomb Explodes on Van. WCCO News, July 28, 2000].

Feb 1994 – Coppage Firebombing Murders, Frogtown neighborhood, St. Paul, MN on Feb. 28, 1994. Five children (ages 2-11) died in what was believed to be gang retaliation, allegedly for Andre Coppage snitching out a gang murder suspect in the killing of Londwea Brown. Read More. 

May 1984 – Pipe bombs were planted around Uptown, Minneapolis, allegedly by the North Central Gay Strike Force. No such group existed, but Earl Steven Karr, a mental patient, was arrested. One man was seriously injured in Uptown when one of the pipes exploded. [Bombing Suspect Says He Was Victim of Set-up. Associated Press, Mpls. Ocala Star-Banner, June 11, 1984].

Mar 1993 – A molotov cocktail was thrown at a home and gunshots were fired at the house on Girard Ave. N. in Mpls. One suspect was arrested. [St. Paul Pioneer Press, March 8, 1993; Bomb Tossed, Shots Fired at Home].

Aug 1970 – On August 17th the Federal Office Building in downtown Minneapolis was seriously damaged by over two dozen sticks of dynamite. A night-time security guard was injured by the blast. [St. Paul Pioneer Press, Sept 28, 1970].

August 1970 – A small bomb damaged the women’s restroom of the Dayton’s department store in downtown St. Paul located at 6th and Cedar St. on August 2nd. A female shopper was critically injured. [St. Paul Pioneer Press, Sept 28, 1970].

Aug 1970 – An explosion occurred at a used car lot in Minneapolis on August 1st. [St. Paul Pioneer Press, Sept 8, 1970].

Jun 1963 – Minneapolis police officer’s home (David Clunis) was dynamited. The officer was in the front yard around 3:30 a.m. when the explosion occurred and family was staying elsewhere due to a number of phone threats. He was under department suspension for 30-days due to negative interactions with African Americans. Minneapolis. [St. Cloud Times, Policeman’s Home Hit by Explosion, June 26, 1963].

Jun 1963 – Minneapolis police officer’s home (Kenneth Moore) was apparently bombed. The officer was a supervisor who was under a 10-day suspension for allowing a collection to be undertaken for another suspended officer. [Winona Daily News, Suspended Patrolman’s House Blasted, June 26, 1963].

Dec 1946 – Stouffer’s Restaurant in downtown Minneapolis (89 7th St. S.) was bombed with about a dozen sticks of dynamite. Damage on December 16th was to the front entryway including a revolving door and large stained glass windows, as well as to some contents inside the restaurant. Neighboring windows in surrounding buildings were also shattered. [Minneapolis Star-Journal via Hennepin County Library].

Stouffer’s Restaurant bombing in downtown Minneapolis, 1946. [Photo courtesy of the Hennepin County Library].


Undetonated Bombs

This section includes undetonated bombs, but not fake bombs, nor written or verbal bomb threats.

Note: McGyver Bombs account for 31% of all bomb incidents (bottle/jug), whether detonated or not. [Annual Explosives Incident Report, U.S. Bomb Data Center, Bomb Arson Tracking System (BATS), 2015]. Most McGyver Bomb incidents likely go unreported.

Aug 2017 – Pipe bombs were found in a suspect’s car near Lake Phalen in St. Paul by police. [Star Tribune, St. Paul Police Discover Pipe Bomb Inside Suspect’s Vehicle, Aug 19, 2017].

Dec 2008 – A pipe bomb was found outside a garage in North Minneapolis by a homeowner near 29th & Morgan Aves. N. [Star Tribune, 2nd Pipe Bomb Found on North Side, Dec 27, 2017].

Aug 2007 – “McGyver Bombs: Two incidents involving McGyver bombs occurred this past week; both were in Palomino Hills” [Apple Valley]. On the morning of Aug. 28 one was found on the front steps of a house on Hidden Meadow Road. That afternoon one was found on the front steps of a house on Chaparral Court.” [Sun Newspapers, May 9, 2007, Police Reports for Apple Valley, Rosemount].

Sep 2003 – A pipe bomb was discovered on the lawn of an apartment building in Coon Rapids. The Minneapolis Bomb Squad responded. [St. Paul Pioneer Press, Pipe Bomb at School Prompts Evacuation, Sept. 19, 2003].

Aug 1991 – A pipe bomb was found near the entrance to the Star Tribune’s printing plant. Minneapolis Bomb Squad responded. [St. Paul Pioneer Press, Pipe Bomb Found Near Star Tribune, August 11, 1991].

Aug 1970 – A time-delayed secondary bomb which targeted the police response to an initial explosion was identified at the Dayton’s department store in downtown St. Paul and defused. [St. Paul Pioneer Press, Sept 8, 1970].

Bomb Response Squads

There are four bomb response units in Minnesota.

Bloomington Police Department Bomb Squad – averaging 75 calls per year

Brainerd-Crow Wing Bomb Squad

Minneapolis Police Department Bomb Squad

St. Paul Police Department Bomb Squad