FBI: Suspect, deputy hurt by explosion during traffic stop near Hillsboro

A puff of smoke from an explosion inside a car can be seen in this still image sent to KATU from a viewer. Authorities say a man set off a small handheld device during a traffic stop, injuring himself and a Washington County Sheriff's Office detective. (Photo: Eli Fowler)

Police arrested a man Wednesday after there was a small explosion inside of his car during a traffic stop on NW Rock Creek Boulevard, the FBI said.

A Washington County Sheriff's Office detective was walking up to the vehicle when the explosion happened. Both the suspect and detective were taken to the hospital for an evaluation.

"As the detectives approached the window, they were actually communicating with him at the window of the vehicle when he did detonate the device," said Sgt. Bob Ray of the sheriff's office.

The detective was treated and released from a local hospital Wednesday, while the suspect suffered more serious non-life-threatening injuries.

"As far as the size and the intensity, it was a pretty significant blast, it did cause pretty significant injuries to him," Ray said.

There is no threat to public safety at this time, officials said.

Initial reports say FBI agents were serving a search warrant in an apartment on Rock Creek Circle as part of an explosives case when just before 4 p.m. the sheriff's detective spotted the suspect returning home.

Deputies and troopers tried to pull the suspect over. After a brief chase, the suspect stopped on Rock Creek Boulevard and "there appeared to be a small explosion inside the vehicle," bureau officials said.

According to the sheriff's office, the suspect detonated a small, handheld device.

"It could have been much much worse, it’s bad enough as it is. You have a couple people that are injured but fortunately it didn’t turn out worse than it did turn out," said Ray.

Watch video of the explosion below shot by KATU viewer Eli Fowler:

The suspect got out of the SUV and officers took him into custody on a probation violation. The FBI says he could face more charges, but at this time its investigation is part of a sealed federal search warrant.

The suspect has been identified as 26-year-old Jason Schaefer. A bench warrant was issued for his arrest Wednesday, after he violated probation for a possession of body armor charge from earlier this year.

After Schaefer receives treatment for his injuries, the sheriff's office said he will be taken to the Washington County Jail.

KATU viewer Eli Fowler lives in an apartment near the one being searched by FBI agents, and he caught the explosion on his phone's camera.

"Within seconds of me recording, that’s when the explosion took place," said Fowler.

Officers closed off Rock Creek Boulevard and part of 185th Avenue, as well as the nearby exits from Highway 26. They reopened the roads just before 10 p.m.

Residents who live nearby weren't allowed back into their homes for several hours before getting the "all-clear" from authorities; although, Fowler isn't feeling totally comfortable returning home.

"To be honest with you no, I’m not. I’m pretty sure most of the residents there are probably thinking about moving now," he said.

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