Investigators examining truck after fatal house party explosion



Posted on November 7, 2010 at 11:24 AM

Updated Monday, Nov 8 at 3:15 PM

AIRWAY HEIGHTS--Deputies Sunday arrested a 20-year-old West Plains man in connection with the death of a man who died Saturday night when a homemade explosive detonated at a Halloween party.

Christapher  A. Harris was booked into the Spokane County Jail Sunday afternoon on a felony count of Possession/Manufacture of an Incendiary Device.   

Harris was arrested as he drove away from his Deer Park girlfriend’s home on Staley Road.  Deputies had been watching the home after Harris was identified as a suspect and his truck was seen at the residence.

Following the arrest, the suspect’s truck was towed to the sheriff’s office vehicle processing station to be search for evidence Monday.

Investigation of the incident began shortly after 8:30 p.m. Saturday when 911 received a call of a man injured by fireworks at a home in the 3100 block of East. Denison-Chattaroy Road.

A Halloween party had been underway and detectives believe Harris brought the IEDs’ (improvised explosive device) to the party as part of the celebration.  When one was lit but did not detonate, the 28-year-old victim walked over to the device.  It exploded and he died of injuries shortly after the blast.

 Most of the 45-to-50 partygoers left the scene before deputies arrived, but interviews of the remaining 15 or so led to development of Harris as a suspect.  A Spokane Police team of Explosives Disposal Unit technicians combed the property and recovered another half dozen devices in addition to the one that was exploded.

On Sunday morning, EDU techs executed a search warrant on Harris’ Sunset Highway apartment and removed other evidence from the home.  Some items were placed in a storage bunker for future evidence testing.

Deputies Glen Hinckley and Chuck Sciortino arrested Harris when he left the girlfriend’s home about 12:15 p.m.  A search of her home for potential evidence was anticipated as well.

Identity of the blast victim will be released by the Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office.  The matter remains under investigation, and detectives would still like to interview anyone at the party who has not yet been contacted by police.