Evanston police investigate explosion inside Target bathroom

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An explosion rattled a bathroom inside a suburban Target store Wednesday afternoon. Evanston Police say a small homemade device detonated inside a stall in the women’s restroom at the store in the 2200 Block of Howard.

“It might have been, possibly, like a plastic bottle, they observed some plastic debris in there, maybe some type of device like that,” said Evanston Police Commander Joe Dugan.

No one was inside the bathroom at the time, and no one was hurt. Target employees heard the explosion and immediately called police.

“Well it's terrifying probably to say the least,” said shopper Rosalie Conroy.

The Cook County Sheriff's Police bomb squad came out and a K-9 team went in to inspect the scene. All the while, the store remained open for business. It never was evacuated.

Customers wondered if it might be related to Target's controversial transgender bathroom policy.

“Definitely makes you wonder if it's related to that issue, and you hope that it is not. I mean, hopefully it's just somebody not trying to make a point or anything like that, maybe it's just a stupid kid or something,” Conroy said.

“I know that the debate has been going on across the country, so this is you know it's a very sad if that's the case,” said shopper Nadege Claude.

Police said there's no indication at this early stage of what the motive might be or if it had any connection to the bathroom policy that allows people to use whatever restroom they want, depending on what gender they identify with.

“There’s no notes, there's no indications as to why it occurred or any motives behind it right now. Currently, detectives are working on the investigation looking at all the angles, and trying to get to the bottom of what occurred,” said Commander Dugan.

Police are reviewing security camera footage to see if they can identify a person of interest.