Deadly Pennsylvania Car Explosion Ruled Murder-Suicide

A fatal car explosion in Allentown, Pennsylvania, on Saturday has been ruled a murder-suicide, authorities announced Thursday. Jacob Schmoyer allegedly used a homemade bomb to kill himself, his 2-year-old son, Jonathan, and aquaintance David Hallman.

"It is the collective assessment and opinion of the entire investigative team that this was an intentional act…by Jacob Schmoyer," ATF Special Agent Don Robinson said during a press conference on Thursday, according to The Morning Call.

Schmoyer reportedly sent letters, dated September 29, to the Allentown Police Department and family members before the explosion. The letters arrived on Wednesday.

Robinson said that the letters written by Schmoyer detailed the materials and components used in the explosive device, WPVI reported. Schmoyer reportedly targeted Hallman and planed to "take his son along with him," Robinson said.

Schmoyer wrote of his unhappiness with his life and admitted to a number of other crimes, Robinson said. "He was miserable…There was a lot of hatred there, some directed at Mr. Hallman and some at his son," he added.

The explosion, which happened on Saturday night in the 700 block of Turner Street, killed the 26-year-old father, his 2-year-old son and 66-year-old Hallman. Surveillance video showed Hallman getting to Schmoyer's car seconds before the Nissan exploded.

Investigators pieced together Schmoyer's vehicle and determined the device, which consisted of two unspecified explosives, was located either in the center console of near the passenger seat. The two men were sitting in the front of the vehicle, while the toddler was in the back seat.

The three died of traumatic injuries in the explosion, but the manner of death was not yet determined by Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim.

Officials said they were confident that Schmoyer acted alone and that the explosion was an isolated incident. "All the letters indicated that Mr. Schmoyer was to blame," Robinson said. "He took blame for it."

The explosion displaced residents between Seventh and Eighth streets in Allentown and damaged several buildings. On Wednesday afternoon, police said some residents would be allowed to return to their homes but said they should check in with an officer on the perimeter of the blocked-off area, The Morning Call reported.

Owners of homes severely damaged by the blast may not be able to return to their homes for several days, Assistant Chief Gail Struss said.

Deadly Pennsylvania Car Explosion Ruled Murder-Suicide | U.S.