Charges Filed in Minor Explosion at Target

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Evanston Police Department Press Release

June 11, 2016

Contact: Commander Joseph Dugan - Media Relations
Phone:   (847) 866-5026



On Wednesday, June 8, 2016 at approximately 4:08 PM, the Evanston Police and Fire Departments were called to the Target Store in the 2200 block of Howard Street for a minor explosion that occurred in the women's bathroom.  There were no reported injuries and the damage was confined to a stall inside the bathroom.  Police and Fire personnel secured the scene and requested assistance from the Cook County Bomb Squad prior to collecting any evidence.  A preliminary examination revealed the explosion may have initiated from a plastic bottle that was observed in the stall.  There were no threats or other suspicious activity prior to, or since the incident occurred.  

Based on witness accounts and video footage, detectives were able to take a 44 year old female Chicago resident into custody.  Through the course of their investigation, it was determined that the female, now identified as Heidi Schmidt, was inside the stall at the time the incident occurred.  Also recovered in the bathroom were items that are commonly combined in a method to produce a chemical high, but during the mixture process can become volatile and explode.  Schmidt was not injured in the incident and left the scene prior to the arrival of the police and fire department. 

Upon reviewing the facts of the investigation, the Cook County State's Attorney's felony review unit approved the below charges.  There is no factual evidence that was uncovered during this investigation that points toward this incident being related to any policies of the Target store or a hate crime.  

The Evanston Police Department would like to thank the witnesses, employees of Target, Cook County Bomb and Arson Unit and the Cook County State's Attorney's Office for their assistance and cooperation, as well as thank the residents and local media for their patience during the investigative process. 

An arrestee photo of Schmidt is attached to this release for legitimate media purposes only. 

Arrestee and Charges:

Heidi E. Schmidt, 44  years of age

4049 W. Crystal, Chicago, Illinois

1ct. Aggravated Arson - Class X Felony

1ct. Unlawful Possession of Explosive or Incendiary Device - Class 1 Felony

Court location

Cook County 2nd District, Skokie, Illinois