Attorney reviews case against 2 in Melrose bombing

by Rocky Thompson

The Hennepin County Attorney’s office is reviewing a case against two individuals connected to five small bombs found in the Melrose Apartments on March 27, Minneapolis police said.

“The county attorney is reviewing the case to see if charges will be filed,” police communications specialist Ron Reier said.

Officials discovered the bombs, which they refer to as “MacGyver devices,” in an elevator, a hallway and three stairwells in the complex. The Melrose houses 467 people.

The devices caused minimal building damage, harming only the carpet, said Jennifer Rimkus, Melrose Apartments’ managing director.

The bombs – built with plastic bottles – were made with chemicals and a piece of metal that reacted to produce a gas which caused then to explode, a Melrose memo said.

In a letter sent to Melrose residents, the regional director said the individuals, who police have identified as responsible for the devices, lived in Melrose.

The letter said officials started eviction actions, but both individuals agreed to leave voluntarily in advance of the eviction hearings.

During the investigation, Rimkus said Melrose increased its police presence and took measures to boost security.

All residents and guests were routed through the lobby, which is under camera surveillance, after elevator access to the parking garage was eliminated and other entrances were sealed.

Rimkus said lobby cameras can be used to identify everyone who entered and left the building, but she was unable to comment on whether the cameras were used in the investigation.

Melrose also hired a police officer to be in the building 24 hours per day, instead of just at night as they had previously done, Rimkus said.

Currently, Melrose has gone back to just a nightly shift for police on site, but the elevators are still closed to the parking garage.

Rocky Thompson covers police and crime. He welcomes comments at [email protected]