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Bomb squad detroys explosive device near Columbia motel

Columbia Police Monday night destroyed a device “capable of damage,” and it has been rendered safe. Columbia Police have confirmed the explosive device was found near the Red Roof Inn.

After the bomb squad detonated the device, a second sweep was performed in each room to make sure nothing else remained.

On Tuesday, the man who found the bomb in the parking lot sent ABC 17 News this photo of the device:

Latisha Stroer, Columbia Police Public Information Officer, told ABC 17 Tuesday morning there was no new information to the investigation. Mid-Missouri Bomb Squad officers were not available for comment.

All guests and employees evacuated the motel. Brandy Moore, the General Manger, said about 50 people were staying at the motel. The intersection of Texas Avenue and Providence Road north of I-70 was closed shortly before 6:00 p.m.

“It was a scary situation,” said Moore. “I’ve been here 8 years and that’s never ever happened.”

A hotel guest told our crews he saw what looked like a pipe bomb in the parking lot while walking away to get cigarettes. He said he took the device inside to the front desk employee.

“I don’t know why the guy brought it into the lobby,” said Moore. “I will never understand that because he risked tons of people’s lives. I probably would have just left it where it was, contacted the police, let them dispose of it and deal with it.”

Moore said the front desk employee called 911 and pulled the fire alarm in order to evacuate the building.

Multiple agencies including the FBI were on scene, and a bomb squad robot was used. The second building was evacuated by around 6:45 p.m.

ABC 17 talked to other nearby businesses on Texas Avenue Tuesday.

“We were told we were in no direct danger,” said Zach Feldman, an account manager at Rent-N-Go Auto, which is located just across the street from the Red Roof Inn. “We saw other people being evacuated, but we weren’t asked to leave or get further away from the building or anything like that.”

Feldman said he felt safe coming into work Tuesday. Employees at Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Inside the Lines said they weren’t worried either.

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