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Police still searching for suspect in explosion at Arlington home
ARLINGTON Its scary to think about, said Randall Phillips, a 67-year-old retiree whose mobile home was rocked by an explosion Feb. 9. The firefighters told me that, if Id been in bed, at the time, they would have been scraping me off the walls.
Phillips was instead watching NASCAR in his living room at approximately 6:15 p.m. when an explosive device, which had apparently been attached to the under-hang of his bedroom window, blew a hole throw the window and wall of his bedroom, as well as the headboard of his bed.
It would have gone right through where I lay my head, Phillips said. There was shrapnel in the ceiling and debris that reached all the way to my couch in the living room. When I heard the explosion, though, I thought it was from the pole-yard, since they had an explosion a few years ago. Looking back on it, I felt a gust of wind from the bedroom, but it wasnt until I went outside and everyone said, The smokes coming from over here, that I saw the big hole in my bedroom.
No one was injured in the explosion, which took place at the 6200 block of 188th Street NE. Neither Phillips nor Arlington police can think of why Phillips should be the victim of what Arlington police nonetheless consider attempted murder.
There is no reason for this particular person to be targeted for this crime, Arlington Police Chief John Gray said. He appears to be an absolutely innocent person, living a private life and, yet, this was obviously a planned, deliberate act.
I just dont understand it, Phillips said. I dont have any enemies. I get along with my ex-wife and my two boys. I havent had any threats. I dont even owe anybody any money. Even my neighbors have asked, Why would somebody want to pick on you? Maybe they got the address wrong, since its a mobile home court, and all our homes all look alike from the back, but I dont know why theyd want to do this to anybody else who lives here, either.
Phillips moved to the mobile home court in 1995, and retired five years ago from Kimberly-Clark. Hes been told by insurance agents that the explosion damage will cost him between $4,500-$5,000, and after spending the first night after the explosion on the couch, hes been sleeping in his own guest bedroom.
The first few nights, Id sit up as soon as I heard a sound, Phillips said. I feel very lucky. It could have been over that quick. It definitely makes me cherish life more.
Arlington police have enlisted the aid of surrounding law enforcement agencies, including the Snohomish County Fire Marshal and Sheriffs offices, to solve this crime, and are currently pursuing leads.
Weve been conducting a lot of interviews, Gray said. Somebody knows something, somebody saw something, or somebody heard something. A crime like this does not happen in a vacuum.
Gray described the explosive device as homemade with gunpowder, while Phillips noted that the devices remains included a tennis ball, duct tape and a fuse.
This is a shattering event, and everyone should be appalled by it, Gray said. We will find whoever is responsible, but were still looking for assistance. Our team of detectives is working tirelessly with other officers. This is not just an Arlington thing.
Arlington police are requesting that anyone with information regarding this event contact them at 360-403-3400.