Five Arrested After Explosives Thrown at Police Officers, Injuring Two

Police in Milwaukee said Monday five individuals arrested in connection with a July 5 incident involving explosives that injured two officers have been charged for their alleged involvement.

The Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office issued the criminal charges, which range from possession of an improvised explosive device to recklessly endangering safety, on July 10, according to the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD).

On July 5, the MPD issued a news release that said officers were investigating after what they described at the time as a "powerful pyrotechnic" was thrown at officers. The device was thrown in the direction of two male officers and detonated east of the Milwaukee River along the 1200 block of North Water Street, police said.

Milwaukee police vehicle
Milwaukee police have arrested and charged five people in connection with a July 5 incident involving explosives that injured two officers. Above, a Milwaukee police car parked at Henry W. Maier Festival Park on August 30, 2013. Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

According to the MPD, the detonation was strong enough to cause the airbags within the officers' squad car to deploy.

The officers, aged 40 and 45, were taken to a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, according to the July 5 release. A second release, issued on Monday, said the officers were treated and sent home to finish recovering.

At the time of the MPD's July 5 news release, officers said they were investigating the incident but had not yet identified any suspects. By Monday, the MPD said five individuals had been arrested in connection with the incident.

Newsweek reached out to the MPD to confirm the timing of the suspects' arrests and the extent of the injuries the officers suffered when the explosive device detonated. This story will be updated with any response.

The MPD's Monday release identified the five arrestees as Gerrell Bufford, Demetrius Powell, Derek Smith, Javaier Thompson and Lawrence Turner.

Turner, who was charged with a single count of possession of an improvised explosive device as a "habitual criminality repeater," could face as many as 10 years behind bars and a $10,000 fine if convicted. The other four individuals could each face 30 years or more in prison if they are convicted, with individual fines ranging from $50,000 to $175,000.

Smith faces the most time behind bars, for two counts of recklessly endangering safety in the first degree, use of a dangerous weapon as a party to a crime, possession of explosives for an unlawful purpose as a party to a crime, and damage of property through the use of explosives. If convicted, he could face more than 87 years behind bars and a $175,000 fine.