SAN ANTONIO — Fort Hood explosive crews detonated a small improvised explosive device in a neighborhood adjacent to the Army post Thursday, police said.
The device appeared to be two small plastic pipes duct taped to a mobile phone wired to a battery device, according to a photo tweeted by an Austin American-Statesman reporter. No injuries were reported when Fort Hood Explosive Ordnance Disposal crews detonated the suspicious package that was reported by a resident around 9 a.m. on the hood of his truck.
Police evacuated an eight-block radius around the 1500 block of North Gray Street and escorted residents to a nearby community center, said Carroll Smith, public information officer for Killeen Police Department.
“We do not believe there is any connection (with Wednesday's shooting),” she said. “But this is not an everyday thing. ... It puts everybody on heightened alert, but you have to handle each situation as they arise.”
Army Spc. Ivan A. Lopez, 34, opened fire with a .45 caliber pistol on the Killeen Army post around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. The event lasted for about 15 minutes before Lopez, an Iraq war veteran from Puerto Rico, took his own life with a gunshot after being cornered by a military policewoman.
All injured were soldiers and nine remain in an area hospital, with three in critical condition, doctors from Scott & White Health Centers said.
Leroy Ferrell lives at the home. He came back from the store Thursday morning to find the item on the hood of his friend's red pickup truck, which was parked at his house.
“I have no idea where it came from. I started to pick it up and throw it into that field over there.” But then he saw the phone and the wires. “I thought, wait a minute.”
Houston Chronicle staff writer Mike Morris contributed to this report.