UPDATE at 10:43 a.m. on 11/26/19 with requests for comment regarding the decision to detonate the device in the Norris Community.
Army personnel from Fort Hood were called in to Commerce to dispose of a live mortar round that was innocuously taken in to the B6UP Pawn & Gun store for appraisal Monday.
Commerce Director of Public Safety Chris Bassham said Monday that a patron brought the mortar round into the store earlier in the day without knowing what it was. He said that a bomb squad was called in to examine the device which was determined to be live.
Bassham said that a call was then made to the Army to properly dispose of the ordinance. At around 10:15 p.m., Army personnel left the scene to detonate the bomb, with the device being taken to city-owned property on Ross Street near the former Commerce Fire substation.
The mortar was safely detonated inside of a containment device shortly after 11 p.m. Reports came in that the loud boom could be heard as far away as Campbell.
A small crater was visible at the back end of the property on Tuesday morning.
Following the detonation, several people on social media questioned the decision to perform the operation at that location, which is less than half of a mile away from several residences. A request for comment on that decision had not been returned as of Tuesday morning.
A request with the media relations department of Fort Hood for more information into the operation had also not been returned Tuesday.