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SWAT Surrounds Lawrenceville Row House In Search For Man Suspected Of Throwing Explosive

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - SWAT officers surrounded a Lawrenceville row house in search of a man suspected of throwing an explosive device on Penn Avenue Sunday night.

Police sources tell KDKA's Andy Sheehan the suspect is an elderly man in his 80s with a record. They also suspect him of blowing up portable toilets in November.

Pittsburgh SWAT fired flashbangs, but a search of the home on Ligonier Street Tuesday revealed the suspect wasn't there.

Pittsburgh Police say they responded to the 3600 block of Penn Avenue in Lawrenceville for reports of an IED that was thrown from a moving vehicle just after 9 p.m. Sunday.

Photo Credit: Pittsburgh Police/Twitter

Residents told KDKA "the whole neighborhood shook."

A parked vehicle was damaged in the reported explosion, and there were no injuries.

Pittsburgh Police released photos of a white two-tone older model pickup truck they were looking for in connection with the incident.

Pittsburgh IED Explosion
(Courtesy: Pittsburgh Police)

Police believe the suspect has been making small bombs and IEDs in the house for some time and is suspected of blowing up two porta johns in separate incidents in November.

Andy Sheehan reports police believed he was holed up in Lawerenceville, but some police sources are now saying they believe he left the house about an hour before the raid on a bicycle.

A search of the house, according to police sources, turned up an assault-type rifle and suspected bomb-making equipment.


Police also executed a warrant at a home on Nelson Run Road in Ross Township for the owner of the white pickup truck who they believe was driving the vehicle at the time of the Sunday night bombing. Police say the man is cooperating.

"They had guns on their hips," said neighbor Ed Maslanka. "They were standing right by one of the doors to the house and on the side of the house."

The relationship between the suspect and the owner of the pickup truck is not known.

WATCH: KDKA's Jennifer Borrasso Has More

Officially, police were tight-lipped about the investigation.

"We're looking for people of interest. We haven't identified a single, sole suspect. So we are looking for people of interest who we want to talk to, and that's all I can give you right now," said Commander Ed Trapp.

Police don't know a motive for the bombs outside perhaps the desire to blow things up.

Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.

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