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Porch Explosion Tied To Possible Hate Crime Against Transgender People, Philly Police Say

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia police are investigating a possible hate crime following an explosion at a home where transgender people live last weekend.

It happened on the 5000 block of Woodland Avenue around 9:45 p.m. on June 23.

Surveillance video captured two men walking by a home. Police say one of the men set an object on fire, which then exploded once the suspect threw it onto the porch.

Police say the explosion, which is being called a deliberate act, damaged the porch but the suspects continued to walk west on Woodland Avenue.

Explosion Vandalism 5000 Woodland Ave
Credit: (CBS3)

Authorities tell CBS3 that more than a dozen transgender people live inside the home. At the time of the blast, seven people were inside, but they were not injured.

Philadelphia Police Department's Lt. John Walker says this specific property was targeted before. Last summer someone shot paintballs at people sitting on the porch---making it clear to authorities that this home is a target.

"We've been working with the human relations commission. We did move a city camera right to that location to try to catch some of these behaviors," said Walker.

One suspect is described as a black male, 20 years of age, thin build, facial hair, and wearing a hooded sweatshirt. The other suspect is a black male, 20 years of age, heavy build, beard, wearing a long-sleeve shirt over a tank top-type shirt and long pants.

Police ask anyone with information leading to the arrest of two suspects to contact authorities at 215-686-3183/3184.

There have been other explosions that are still under investigation in the city. Police do not believe those incidents are connected to this attack.

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