April 17, 2014

Elyria
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Worker hurt in blast is charged

LAGRANGE TWP. — The Diamond Products employee who suffered facial burns after an explosion in his office has been charged with aggravated arson.

Shaw

Shaw

Robert Shaw, of 41170 Whitney Road, LaGrange Township, was released from the hospital Saturday afternoon and is now being held at the Lorain County Jail, according to police. Shaw, 50, is accused of mixing chemicals for explosive targets for firearm target practice.

Elyria police Lt. Andy Eichenlaub said police searched Shaw’s truck and his home, and found substances that could be volatile, so various agencies were called because of their expertise in explosives.

A firearm was confiscated from Shaw’s truck. Eichenlaub said unidentified liquids and powders were found in his home. He said no federal violations have so far been found. Eichenlaub also declined to speculate on a possible motive for building the targets.

Sheriff’s auxiliary officers had part of Whitney Road blocked off Friday afternoon, and Eichenlaub said the work at the home would likely continue through today.

Agencies working on the scene were the Lorain County Bomb Squad, the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Cleveland Fire Department, the 52nd Civil Support Group from the Ohio National Guard, the Lorain County Emergency Management Agency and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Eichenlaub said the Red Cross was also on hand to provide support to the about 25 personnel from the various agencies. The Ohio EPA was there to deal with the possibility of toxic substances.

No one in the surrounding homes has been evacuated, Eichenlaub said.

“If people in the area were in imminent danger, we would have evacuated them,” he added.

Shaw had a concealed carry permit, and Eichenlaub said he was not aware whether he had any criminal background or terrorist association. Shaw previously has been charged only with three minor traffic violations, according to Elyria Municipal Court records.

Shaw lived in the home with his wife and at least one daughter, who is not a young child, Eichenlaub said.

The explosion occurred in Shaw’s office at Diamond Products, at 333 Prospect St. in Elyria, early Friday morning. No other employees were injured.

Employees in one Diamond Products building were evacuated for about three hours while the Lorain County Bomb Squad removed material and examined the office.

Contact Kiera Manion-Fischer at 329-7123 or kfischer@chroniclet.com.