WEAU | Eau Claire, Wisconsin | News, Weather, & Sports

Homemade Bomb Detonated, Neighbors Stunned

Russell Knutson won't soon forget the time he sat down for a cup of coffee with his brother on Tuesday. They were out on the deck at his home when a homemade bomb went off a little too close to his backyard.

"It was so loud...I've never heard anything like that in my life."

Five minutes later, a neighbor was calling to try and find out what just made his house shake. Barron County Sheriff's Deputies say it was 33-year old Scott Coss, and an abandoned car in a nearby field.

"I don't know what his intent was at this point other than to make an explosion and blow up the vehicle," said Sheriff Tom Ritchie of Barron County.

At around six that night, an officer responded to a number of calls from Knutson's neighbors. Once he got to the scene and started looking around, he found Coss, who explained how he had mixed an explosive substance he says he got at work with a kind of zirconium, and put it in the car. Coss told the officer he backed up about 100 yards before opening fire on the car with a high powered rifle, and he did that for a good reason. Officers would eventually find debris from the car scattered for up to 500 yards from the site of the explosion. Coss was allowed to leave the scene, but was arrested later that night at his house.

"Fortunately nobody was hurt, it was a massive explosion that was heard from miles away," Sheriff Ritchie said.

Still, Knutson says he's not worried about this kind of thing happening again, neither are police.

"The people in the trailer court are pretty decent people, so i don't know why it got into his mind to do something like that," Knutson said.

Coss is scheduled to appear before a judge on April 19. If convicted, could go to prison for six years.


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