In among the clearest examples of an attempt at what could be considered domestic terrorism related to the ongoing riots so far, a 24-year-old man died Tuesday when he blew himself up while planting explosives on an ATM in Philadelphia.
Police and emergency medical personnel rushed the scene, where they found live explosives, according to Fox 29. While the safe was still intact, the machine's electronic components were destroyed. Crucially the detonation occurred near an apartment complex and local businesses.
Though details remain somewhat murky, a CBS affiliate reported the man was also shot during the police response after being severely injured in his attempt to blow up the ATM. He likely still had explosive devices on him which police considered a threat.
Over the past days there's been a string of blasts at ATMs and mini-marts throughout Philadelphia, amid broader George Floyd protest mayhem, looting, and increasing lawlessness in parts of the city.
It brings up the alarming prospect of other ATM or bank locations being rigged with dynamite or small bombs, and dangers to nearby pedestrians.
Looters are using explosives in attempts to open bank ATM’s pic.twitter.com/wZtvmTz0sU— Rob O'Donnell (@odonnell_r) June 3, 2020
The details of the Tuesday morning incident, according to Philly Voice, are as follows:
The incident occurred around 6:15 a.m. on the 2200 block of North 2nd Street, just west of Norris Square Park. The ATM is located outside of Sidekicks Sports Bar.
Investigators said the victim was found with trauma to his upper body. He was transported to Temple University and later pronounced dead.
Multiple social media videos circulating show vandals attempting to steal money from ATMs at different locations using the highly dangerous 'method' of explosives.
According to FOX, police believe it's an "organized" crime attempt, and it's unclear whether the man who accidentally detonated himself was behind the other blasts, or how many are involved:
There were reports of similar explosions in other parts of the city as well, events that the city’s police commissioner reportedly labeled as “organized” and “coordinated.” Photos and videos posted to social media show some of the damage.
In one video, a group of men rush over following a small explosion. A crowd begins to gather at the scene, and eventually they take off.
In total police and local media have counted at least 30 AMTs across the city targeted for vandalism and theft.
It started Monday night and continued into Tuesday night, where about a half dozen more were targeted in explosive attacks.
The organized nature of it further suggests there are potentially caches of explosive devices and small bombs located within the city among the conspirators.
It's perhaps only a matter of time before the deadly weapons get turned directly on police, as has already happened in multiple cases in New York over the past days.