ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WJHL) – Asheville police are investigating after explosives were thrown at the site of the former Vance Monument Monday, and two people are already facing several charges.

According to a Facebook post from the Asheville Police Department (APD), the explosion occurred on the night of July 4 in Pack Square. No injuries were reported in connection to the incident, but police noted that the explosion was heard throughout the downtown area.

An unexploded device was also found at the scene by the city’s bomb squad.

“The size of the device used and nature of the energetic materials therein presented a clear threat to human life,” APD bomb squad commander Capt. Joe Silberman said. “Especially in light of its use in such a densely populated area.”

Two people have been charged in connection to the incident:

  • Duncan Andrew Small, 30.
  • Chioke Auden Fugate, 23.

Small and Fugate were also confirmed as the protestors who appeared armed at another earlier protest, where police say Small confessed to wearing a ballistic vest.

When searching Small’s vehicle, officers say they found zip-tie handcuffs, a ballistic vest, a pistol and ammunition, and a flare gun. Fugate also allegedly brought leather gloves and a gas mask.

Both were charged with “Possessing a Weapon of Mass Destruction” and “Going Armed to the Terror of the Public.”

Small was also charged with Discharging a Firearm in City Limits. Small and Fugate were booked into the Buncombe County Detention Facility and were placed under a $16,000 and $15,000 bond, respectively.

In addition to those already charged, the APD is asking the public to come forward with information on other persons of interest in the incident. Their photo is attached below.

Photo: Asheville Police Department

The explosives, described as resembling pipe bombs by the APD, were thrown at the site of the former Vance Monument. The obelisk that bore the name of former governor and confederate officer Zebulon Vance was removed in 2020.