Ontario Police have arrested a suspect who set off two explosive devices at Sam’s Club.
On April 5, 2018, at approximately 2:08 PM, Ontario Police Officers responded to the Sam’s Club located at 951 N. Milliken Avenue in the City of Ontario for a call of a possible structure fire. Officers arriving on scene quickly determined the fire was related to an explosive device that was detonated by a man who had fled the store prior to police arrival.
A responding officer located the suspect fleeing in a Honda Civic and attempted to stop the vehicle. The driver led officers on a short pursuit before he pulled over and submitted to arrest. Within the vehicle Gonzalez was driving, investigators located additional materials similar to those used in the devices which were detonated in the store.
The suspect has been identified as 49-year-old Hugo Gonzalez and it is believed that he acted alone. Police investigators served a search at Gonzalez’ apartment in the 16500 block of Arrow Boulevard, in the City of Fontana. Searches of his apartment and a second associated apartment were conducted. No additional explosive devices were located, however, materials used to manufacture similar devices were recovered.
The Ontario Fire Department Bomb Squad conducted a thorough search of the store and concluded that two explosive devices had detonated on opposite sides of the store. The explosions ignited products within close proximity. Sam’s Club employees acted quickly and used fire extinguishers to put out the flames.
Agents from the FBI, ATF, and the Fontana Police Department assisted in the investigation. Police, fire and federal investigators concluded their searches of the SAM’s Club and the two apartments just after 1:30 AM.
Gonzalez has been interviewed but has not provided police with a motive for the incident. Investigators have no indication that he is linked to any criminal organization and he is not believed to be on a terrorist watch list. He is not a SAM’s Club employee and police have not gotten any information as to why he chose to detonate the devices at this store.
Gonzalez has been booked at West Valley Detention Center on multiple charges including Arson, Possession of a Destructive Device, and Ignition of a Destructive Device. He is being held on $1,000,000 bail.
This investigation is on-going. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Ontario Police Department at 909-986-6711 or Detective Josh Burks at 909-395-2912.
Information can also be reported anonymously by calling WE-TIP at 800-78-CRIME or on-line at www.wetip.com.