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Bomb Exploded In Bathroom Of Evanston Target Wednesday

By Stephen Gossett in News on Jun 9, 2016 5:20PM

Target (Photo by Mike Mozart via the Creative Commons on Flickr)

A small bomb exploded Wednesday in the women's bathroom of a Target Store in Evanston.

The bathroom explosion comes at a time when the company is being criticized by conservative Christians for its transgender-friendly bathroom-usage policy, but police said in a statement that there's no indication that the explosion was related to store policies. Target issued a statement April 19 that transgender visitors can use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity.

The incident occurred around 4 p.m., causing minor damage and no injuries. According to a statement from police, the explosion appears to have been caused by a plastic bottle that was found leftover in the stall. Police said "no threats or other suspicious activity" have been associated with the store before or after the explosion. Police took a 44-year-old woman into custody as a person of interest in the investigation, but no charges have been filed.

We have reached out to Evanston police and Target for comment and will update as new information becomes available.


Update: Evanston Police Department announced Saturday charges against West Humboldt Park woman Heidi E. Schmidt, 44. Police recovered items from the scene commonly mixed to produce a high. No evidence was found to support a hate-crime motive against Target's bathroom policy.