“All of a sudden I heard a pow like a gunshot,” Thompson said. “I was scared because I thought somebody was shooting.”
Thompson hustled her children to the back of the house and looked out the window.
“I could see a lot of smoke,” she said.
Carol Anderson, who lives next door, was driving home after the completion of her shift at Stripes.
“When I came across the tracks, I saw a white car that I recognized,” Anderson said. “The driver kept hesitating and I started wondering what was going on.”
Out of curiosity, Anderson drove around the block, to ensure nothing was going on.
“They made a U-turn and started going west down Commons,” she said. “That’s when they threw something out the window.”
Anderson’s young 18-month-old daughter was with her but she was too afraid to take her daughter out of her van as billows of smoke plumed from the device.
“It was scary,” Anderson said. “That’s the kind of stuff you see on TV. Refugio’s small. We don’t have things like that. I was born and raised here and I love this town but I’m tired of kids getting away with murder.”
Anderson called 911 to report the incident and to get an officer to come out an look at the object.
The next day, comments concerning the “bomb” began to appear on Facebook. Some of the comments were derogatory toward Anderson because she called the police.
More disturbing to Anderson was the lighthearted way some students were talking about making more “bombs.”
From the remnants of the device, the comments on Facebook and from searching through Google, Anderson found the formula for making the bomb she believes was thrown near her home.
“Liquid Drano poured into a plastic bottle will explode when you add water and aluminum foil and shake it up,” Anderson said.
The investigating officer gathered what was left of the plastic bottle and the shards of aluminum foil as evidence, according to Anderson.
Some of the foil remains embedded as far away as the middle of the street.
Police Chief Andy Lopez said he will confer with Assistant District Attorney Ray Hardy when the investigation is complete “to see whether we have a crime or not.”
“Right now we’re trying to determine who all is involved,” Lopez said. “We are taking it seriously.”
While Lopez would not comment on the particulars of the case, he said at least one of the individuals is considered an adult (at least 17) and at least one juvenile is involved.
In addition to Anderson and Thompson, a number of people in the neighborhood also heard the explosion and came out to investigate.
“This was not accidental; it was deliberate,” Anderson said. “I just don’t want my daughter to think that this is the kind of thing that happens here or that this is OK, because it’s not.”