Just after 9:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, a bomb exploded in a garbage can along the route of a planned 5k race in Seaside Heights, N.J. In the aftermath, two more unexploded shrapnel devices were found attached to the initial bomb. The explosion was eerily similar to the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, an event soon to be reenacted in your local theater.
The Asbury Park Press reported that the explosion took place at the starting line of the Seaside Semper Five Marine Corps Charity 5k only five minutes after the race's scheduled 9:30 a.m. start time. However, the race was delayed due to unrelated issues, so there was no one in the area at the time. The fact that the race was associated with the military had some speculating that the attack might be terrorism.
“You would have to assume that at a military-type event, the U.S. Marines, a device is placed along the route of a charity event, it would be hard to think it would be anything else,’’ said Al Della Fave, spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.
While local authorities began the investigation, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office have taken over.
Governor Chris Christie has been briefed, and the New York City Counterterrorism Bureau is also monitoring the situation.
“We are grateful that nobody was injured, but this is a serious act of violence against the people of New Jersey,” said Attorney General Christopher Porrino. “We will not rest until we find the person or persons responsible.”
Residents were shaken by the attacks, but praised the response of the police and other authorities, as well as people who in the neighborhood to came to the aid of those who had to be evacuated.