Docs: Suspect in Rock Creek had explosives in home

Jason Schaefer was under federal investigation for possession of explosives

An October 13, 2017 booking photo of Jason Schaefer from the Washington County Sheriff's Office and his car after the explosion on October 11, 2017. (KOIN)
An October 13, 2017 booking photo of Jason Schaefer from the Washington County Sheriff's Office and his car after the explosion on October 11, 2017. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A man who was under FBI investigation for allegedly possessing explosives that could be detonated remotely is now in the Washington County Jail after being treated for injuries sustained when he allegedly detonated a small explosive on Wednesday.

An October 13, 2017 booking photo of Jason Schaefer from the Washington County Sheriff's Office.
An October 13, 2017 booking photo of Jason Schaefer from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Jason Schaefer was hospitalized with very serious injuries to his hand and received “specialized treatment,” a spokesperson for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office told KOIN 6 News. The 26-year-old was holding an explosive in his hand when it went off, and officials said he may lose fingers or possibly his entire left hand.

Schaefer is being held without bail for violating the terms of his probation.

According to a bench warrant for Schaefer issued on October 11, the FBI learned in September that Schaefer was buying “numerous items that were causing concern” including explosive liquid, remotes to set off fireworks, more than 100 electric matches and at least a pound of hexamine, which can be used to make home-made explosives and is frequently used in suicide bombings.

The warrant says FBI agents arranged to search Schaefer’s apartment while he was being interviewed at the probation office on Tuesday. Agents learned he did have explosives that could be detonated remotely, giving authorities probable cause to arrest him on the charge of felon in possession of explosives.

The FBI of Oregon said agents were serving the search warrant at an apartment complex on NW Rock Creek Circle when Schaefer tried to flee. Authorities tried to stop him in traffic near NW 185th and NW Rock Creek Blvd.

An explosion inside this vehicle caused roads in the area of SW 185th and Rock Creek Boulevard to be closed in Washington County, October 11, 2017 (KOIN)
An explosion inside this vehicle caused roads in the area of SW 185th and Rock Creek Boulevard to be closed in Washington County, October 11, 2017 (KOIN)

After a short chase, the sheriff’s office said Schaefer detonated a small explosive device before getting out of the car and being taken into custody.

A detective saw him light the fuse on the device that exploded in his hand, KOIN 6 News learned. This device was not one of the explosives that could be remotely detonated.

“In terms of size and intensity, it was a significant blast,” Bob Ray with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said.

Schaefer and a Washington County detective who was at the window of the car when the explosion happened were both taken to the hospital for evaluation. The detective was not seriously injured and has been released from the hospital.

After Schaefer is treated for his injuries, he will be taken to the Washington County Jail. Once there, he will be held without bail.

This case will be presented to the Washington County grand jury and detectives said they will take their time to build their case against Schaefer. Authorities are looking at a “full range” of charges.

Northbound lanes of NW 185th at Hwy 26 were closed for several hours while the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the bomb squad investigated the scene.

The FBI said there is no known threat to public safety.

Families at a park across the street from where the car stopped watched everything unfold. One dad said he hit the ground with his daughter when he heard the sound.

“Heard the cops screaming and yelling, ‘get out of the car! Get out of the car!’ and shortly after a real loud noise,” Derrick Gonzalez told KOIN 6 News. “Saw that there was a guy leaning out of the car with blood.”

KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.

WATCH: Chopper 6 over the scene on NW 185th where authorities are investigating Schaefer’s car.