2 explosions at churches in Las Cruces New Mexico
Las Cruces, New Mexico – Holy Cross Catholic Church, and Calvary Baptist Church were rocked by explosions today from bombs that went off about a half hour apart, one in a trash receptacle and the other in a church mailbox. There were no injuries, and only minor damage. The churches are only a few miles apart.
Two separate churches
A mailbox at Calvary Baptist Church exploded shortly before the 8:30 a.m. service Sunday morning. A member of the church who had been in Special Forces, Dennis Llewellyn, was outside when it occurred. He noted that pieces left of the exploded item appeared to be a real bomb, complete with battery. He and another man prevented arriving church members from coming in the building prior to police arrival.
The explosion at Holy Cross Catholic church occurred around 8:40 a.m. during mass on Sunday.
“I was right in the middle of saying the words ‘take and eat, this is my body’ and there was a Pow! I mean, I knew it had to be more than a gunshot. It didn’t know if it was a shotgun blast, I didn’t know what. But it was very loud and I just kept on saying the words.” Monsignor John Anderson
The Monsignor sent a deacon out to see what happened, and learned that a bomb had gone off in a trash receptacle at the front doors of the church, shattering them. Services for both the Catholic and Baptist churches were cancelled for the rest of the day.
Police escorted members of the congregations quietly out of the buildings, and set a perimeters around them so that bomb-sniffing dogs could check out the churches. The Dona Ana County Bomb Squad is investigating the explosions, along with the FBI and ATF.
Since both explosions occurred at churches, police are investigating them as related incidents, although the motive remains unknown. Other churches have contacted authorities, wondering what to do.
“We can’t tell them what to do, but we can tell them to be on the lookout for anything suspicious. Don’t go poking around in trash cans or mailboxes. If you have any suspicion of anything that’s out of the ordinary, please call to police and leave it up to the officers to look it over.” Dan Trujillo, police spokesperson.