Quarry Street residents evacuated from their homes Monday after police found three homemade explosive devices in a neighbor's house said Wednesday that despite their fears, they are working to move on from the experience.
"My children have been really frightened by all of this," said Ryan Pieri, who lives with his wife and children next door to the home where the pipe bombs were found. "That's the worst part of this incident. This is a neighborhood full of children. We all moved here to raise our families in a safe environment. So to have this happen so close to us is really shocking."
The Quarry Street neighborhood is full of homes without fences. Manicured lawns adorn well-kept yards. Neighbors know each other by name, wave hello and stand on the sidewalk chatting together. So when police officers, FBI agents and bomb squad deputies descended on their street Monday night, it took the whole neighborhood by surprise.
The evacuations came after police had already arrested 30-year-old Ismail Moylan on suspicion of illegally possessing a gun and prescription drugs earlier in the day. Officers were first called to a residence in the 900 block of Quarry Street at about 5:30 p.m. Monday, after receiving reports of a despondent person later identified as Moylan, who may have been in possession of a gun. After arriving at the scene and spending about an hour attempting to contact Moylan by phone inside the two-story home, officers used a bull horn to draw Moylan out of the house. Soon after, Moylan surrendered to police.
Petaluma Police Lt. Tim Lyons said that officers then entered the Moylan residence and began searching for the reported firearm. While doing so, Lyons said an officer found what he thought was an explosive device. Police called the Sonoma County bomb squad and obtained search warrants.
At about 4 a.m. Tuesday, the bomb squad entered the Moylan home and verified that the first device found by Petaluma officers hours before was an explosive.
Upon further searching, two more devices were located — one contained explosive materials while the other did not.
Pieri said that he and his family were evacuated three times over a 12-hour span, as officers continued to find more explosives at his next-door neighbor's home.
Bomb squad deputies detonated the three explosive devices outside the house. Officers also found a handgun in the home, along with illegal prescription drugs.
Police closed Quarry Street Monday night through Tuesday morning. Officers also notified local Corona Creek Elementary School officials as a precaution, so that parents and students could prepare for the detours around Quarry Street.
The FBI was called to the scene and began investigating. Lyons said that the department is currently not discussing any potential motives regarding the pipe bombs.
Tuesday's commotion had died down on Quarry Street by Wednesday morning. The home, owned by Moylan's mother, Amina Al-Jamal, sat quiet with several cars in the driveway. No one answered the door. Lyons said that officers had been at the home early Wednesday morning removing additional evidence, though he declined to say what the evidence was.
"I think for all of us — living so close to two schools — it's not hard to draw comparisons to what happened in Connecticut last year," said neighbor Jeff Aden, referring to the mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school that left 26 dead in December 2012. "It's another situation where a mother and son are living together and may not have any idea what the other one is up to. You hate to draw that comparison, but it just sticks in your mind."