Police say all is safe now in Magoffin County after a bomb squad diffused an explosive device in a shopping center parking lot Monday night. Now police want to know how it got there and what it was going to be used for.
Police say the explosive device was found in the car of 33 year old Randy Back. Troopers say he lives in Wolfe County, but works in the shopping center in Salyersville. Magoffin County officials say it all started when he came to work and someone reported a bomb in his car.
A threat surrounding a Ford Bronco in a parking lot turned a normal day at work into scary day for people in Salyersville. Influent employee Mary Jenkins was parked next to it. She didn't know what was happening when officials wanted her keys.
"Just don't ask questions. I need the keys, give me the keys. I gave him the keys and I knew something was wrong, but I didn't know what it was," Jenkins said.
What it was, was in the SUV.
"Was a true explosive device and capable of detonating," said Tpr. Scott Hopkins with the Kentucky State Police.
Police immediately evacuated everyone within 500 feet, including the shopping center and all the nearby businesses. People weren't even allowed to drive away.
The Salyersville Health Care Center wasn't evacuated. Employees there felt it was too dangerous outside to move the elderly residents.
Around seven o'clock, the state police bomb squad moved in.
"They investigated the device and decided it was safe to remove that device from the vehicle. After removal of the vehicle, the device was taken from the scene and everything was declared safe," Hopkins said.
Detectives say the car belongs to Influent employee Randy Back.
"Very nice young man and all I know is he said something last week he was upset. He was in a custody battle with his kids," Jenkins said.
Police won't say why the device was in back's car, or if he even has anything to do with it.
State police say they're interviewing what they call "several people of interest" and hope to have some answers soon.