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UC Davis Apartment Explosion

What was reported as a small explosion in a campus apartment Thursday, turned into a 20+ hour ordeal for UC Davis Campus Police, Sacramento and Yolo Counties’ bomb squads, the ATF and other assisting agencies.

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UC Davis Researcher Charged with Making a Bomb

David Snyder appeared in court Jan. 24.


Investigators left the apartment of a UC Davis researcher Thursday evening with at least one bag of evidence, police say.

David Snyder, 32, was arrested in January after allegedly causing an explosion in his apartment while working with dangerous chemicals. He was accused of improperly disposing devices and having a complete bomb.

Investigators did not say what was taken from Snyder’s apartment.

Davis Explosion Now a Criminal Investigation


Police warned people in south Davis that they may hear some explosions Thursday evening.

UC Davis Police, along a Yolo County bomb squad, will be setting off materials found in the lab of David Synder.

Synder was arrested Tuesday in connection with an explosion that rocked a UC Davis apartment complex.

Police say the materials will be set off in a safe area between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.



The researcher arrested after an explosion at a UC Davis apartment explosion appeared in Yolo County Superior Court Thursday, one week after the blast.

David Synder, 32, was arrested Tuesday in connection with the explosion. He faces charges of improperly disposing devices and having a completed bomb, along with having weapons on a school campus charges.

No plea was entered.

Synder’s defense wanted his $2 million bail reduced, and a bail hearing is set for Feb. 8. Prosecutors would rather Synder’s bail not be reduced because he reportedly getting ready to leave the state immediately after going to the hospital.

Synder’s left hand was wrapped in a soft cast for his injuries suffered in the blast.

No one else was hurt in the explosion, but apartments were evacuated for the night as a bomb squad and investigators searched Synder’s apartment.

Andria Borba will have much more coming up on FOX40 News at 5:30 and 6.


David Synder, 32, has been arrested in connection to the blast that rocked a UC Davis apartment complex Thursday morning, UCD Police announced Saturday.

Investigators said Friday that, thanks to the amount of chemicals found inside the apartment, the case had become a criminal investigation.

Materials that could be used to make bombs and firearms were found inside, police note. However, police also note that they do not believe Snyder intended to harm anyone.

“While we have no information to suggest that Mr. Snyder was plotting some broader crime on the campus, in today’s environment the potential safety risk to the community must be taken extremely seriously,” said UC Davis Police Chief Matt Carmichael in a statement Saturday.

As reported on Thursday, a UC Davis researcher had to be treated for injuries. Police now say that it was Snyder who was injured. He is still in the hospital and hasn’t been booked at this time.

Snyder earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from UC Davis back in 2004, then a Ph.D. in chemistry back in 2011. He was working at UC Davis as a junior researcher.

The whole ordeal lasted more than 20 hours Thursday, with 40 units in the area – amounting to 74 UC Davis students – needing to be evacuated.  Help had to be called in to remove the dangerous chemicals from the apartment, with authorities eventually resorting to exploding some of the items that couldn’t be removed.

Synder now faces felony charges of possession an explosive, possessing materials with intent to make an explosive, and possessing firearms on campus. He may face more charges down the road, police note.

No one else was injured in the explosion, police say.

Sunday afternoon, UC Davis officials announced that Snyder was booked into Yolo County Jail. His bail was set at $2 million.


Dennis Shanahan and Katie Hackett contributed to this story.


Here are the clues: crime scene tape and a suspicious looking ventilation system.

“There was a smell. There was a funky smell,” said UC Davis student Aaron Illathu.

But what caused the explosion? The one person injured is a researcher at UC Davis.

Was this some kind of mad science experiment gone wrong? Was he trying to cook up some kind of drug? Was he planning something? Was there a bomb?

Investigators aren’t saying much of anything.

“They said they found like zinc pipes. You just don’t know what that means or what it could be used for,” Illathu said.

Cops are keeping tight lipped about what sort of substances they found, but they hint at how the investigation is being handled.

“A criminal investigation, based on the amount of items found in the apartment” said UC Davis Police Chief Matt Carmichael.

Nobody has been charged and nobody is in custody. Still, cops took the situation very seriously. Responding agencies included two separate bomb squads, FBI, ATF, a chemist from the ATF, the fire dept and a whole slew of police.

“We evacuated 5 buildings,” Carmichael said.

That affected about 74 people, including some children.

Whatever it was that was found in the apartment was deemed too dangerous to move and it was destroyed on scene.

“That ended up being a total of eight explosions,” Carmichael told reporters.

Eventually, residents were allowed back in to their homes and after the 20-plus hour ordeal. Police want people to know one thing: the area is now safe.

Local News

UC Davis Apartment Explosion Now a Criminal Investigation

Davis Explosion

A campus apartment is taped off as investigators remove items.


What was reported as a small explosion in a campus apartment Thursday, turned into a 20+ hour ordeal for UC Davis Campus Police, Sacramento and Yolo Counties’ bomb squads, the ATF and other assisting agencies. Now, the criminal investigation can start.

Responding to the explosion scene in the Russell Park area, officers found chemicals and other items inside the unit they felt were unsafe. At this time, investigators are not commenting on exactly what they found.

They evacuated 40 units in the area, which ended up being 74 UC Davis students, graduate students, researchers and all of their families. Many returned home Thursday afternoon, the rest on Friday morning.

Help was called in, and explosive experts set about to remove the items from the apartment. But, some items had to be disposed of immediately.

“It was clear some of those items could not be removed from the apartment safely,” said UC Davis Campus Police Chief Matt Carmichael.

There were eight explosions to dispose of items that could not be moved.

Investigators are now working on a criminal investigation based on the amount of chemicals and items found in the apartment. No one is in custody right now. Police have not released any information about who lived in the apartment at the time of the explosion, or who else they are investigating. Thursday, they would only say the person injured was a campus researcher.

Local News

UC Davis Campus Building Evacuated After Explosion


File photo


A building on UC Davis’ campus was evacuated Thursday morning because of possibly dangerous chemicals.

A UC Davis researcher was treated at the hospital for injuries following a small explosion. Campus Police responded to the housing complex along Russell Park, near Russell Boulevard and found the chemicals.

The building where the chemicals were found and some nearby apartments were evacuated Thursday morning until the area was considered safe.

A portion will remain off-limits as a precaution.