Green Room

First responder in West, Texas explosion arrested for “possession of destructive device”

posted at 1:42 pm on May 10, 2013 by

This is an unexpected development:

Texas authorities are launching a criminal investigation into last month’s deadly fertilizer distribution facility explosion in West, Texas, the Texas Department of Public Safety said Friday.

The announcement was made on the same day authorities arrested Bryce Reed, a West emergency volunteer who was a first-responder to the disaster.

Authorities have not tied the arrest to the deadly blast.

McLennan County sheriff’s records clerk Betty Duncan told CNN that Reed was arrested for possession of a destructive device, booked early Friday, and is in the custody of U.S. Marshals.

One thing might not have anything to do with the other; it could just be a coincidence.  On the other hand ….

On Monday, the state fire marshal’s office said it ruled out four potential causes: weather, natural causes, anhydrous ammonium, and ammonium nitrate in a rail car.

The fire began in the fertilizer and seed building, but authorities still were trying to figure out the exact spot, the fire marshal’s office said Monday.

The blast happened about 20 minutes after the first report of a fire at the fertilizer facility. It registered on seismographs as a magnitude-2.1 earthquake and could be felt 50 miles away.

Keep an eye on this story, perhaps especially on the federal involvement.  Until now, no one had intimated that this might be a deliberate act.

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I was just reading about this in the local news here. There could be any number of stupid reasons some idiot might set off a pipe bomb at the plant. Years ago there was an arson investigator in California, who was starting fires in commercial buildings. It took years to catch him.

Channel 8 (WFAA)
http://www.wfaa.com/news/local/former-ems-volunteer-arrested-on-possession-of-destructive-device-charge-firefighter-explosion-206912431.html

Dallas Morning News:
http://www.dallasnews.com/news/west-explosion/headlines/20130510-authorities-not-saying-whether-west-explosion-criminal-probe-linked-to-paramedic-s-arrest.ece

Ward Cleaver on May 10, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Until now, no one had intimated that this might be a deliberate act.

Any moment now some in the MSM will begin speculating about how right-wing Tea Party types may be involved, based on no evidence whatsoever.

farsighted on May 10, 2013 at 1:50 PM

Muy interesante….

Ace ODale on May 10, 2013 at 1:50 PM

On Monday, the state fire marshal’s office said it ruled out four potential causes: weather, natural causes, anhydrous ammonium, and ammonium nitrate in a rail car.

Isn’t it anhydrous ammonia?

steebo77 on May 10, 2013 at 1:53 PM

Isn’t it anhydrous ammonia?

steebo77 on May 10, 2013 at 1:53 PM

Yes, that’s right.

Ward Cleaver on May 10, 2013 at 1:55 PM

I’m wondering if he just wanted to be a hero, and wanted to feel important, or maybe he’s just a fire bug – in his video eulogy of fellow volunteer Cyrus Reed (no relation), Bryce Reed joked about how Cyrus liked fire – maybe he was really talking about himself.

Maybe he wanted to start a fire, and didn’t realize the whole place could blow. Who knows?

Ward Cleaver on May 10, 2013 at 1:59 PM

“Until now, no one had intimated that this might be a deliberate act.”

I kinda think someone did — early on — I remember a report that the fire was thought to be deliberately set, was put out, then roared back into life a little later after some firemen had left. I’m not certain, but I think I saw that.

starboardhelm on May 10, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Any moment now some in the MSM will begin speculating about how right-wing Tea Party types may be involved, based on no evidence whatsoever.

farsighted on May 10, 2013 at 1:50 PM

Paging Brian Ross…..

Bitter Clinger on May 10, 2013 at 2:00 PM

We had a case in the Midland-Odessa area earlier this week of a federal arrest on possession of illegal weapons/IEDs, after an undercover agent saw him demonstrate the devices.

It may just be something the ATF and FBI in Texas have decided to concentrate on in 2013, and the first responder was one of those found to be playing with stuff that explodes (since you would think four weeks into the investigation, if there had been blast device or even materials in the blast area linked to homemade explosive devices, those details would have come out already)

jon1979 on May 10, 2013 at 2:06 PM

I just found a Barry Reed on a Tea Party membership form! Bryce is a nickname for Barry! Tea Party extremist who hates fertilizer, small towns, beer, sausage, and kolaches!!!1!

stvnscott on May 10, 2013 at 2:08 PM

MSM Dems aren’t openly hoping for a bitter tea clingy connection, like they did in Boston, because the victims are Texan subhumans to them.

Christien on May 10, 2013 at 2:08 PM

MSM Dems aren’t openly hoping for a bitter tea clingy connection, like they did in Boston, because the victims are Texan subhumans to them.

Christien on May 10, 2013 at 2:08 PM

I dunno. Oklahomans are subhumans to them too, but they sure tried hard to connect McVeigh et al to the Right.

stvnscott on May 10, 2013 at 2:12 PM

well, it would not be the first time that an arsonist was a first responder and burned things to the ground in order to respond

i remember that awful wildfire that was ignited by a volunteer firewoman. Several people were killed in that fire

not political…just arson..we’ll see

(but, meanwhile, does that mean that the leftist goons/thugs who do cartoons and blabber unknowingly about the first thing that occurs to them will apologize? Not. Goons don’t apologize)

r keller on May 10, 2013 at 2:19 PM

They might not have found this guy, except for the fact that he told one of his neighbors about his having a pipe bomb, and that person went to the authorities.

Ward Cleaver on May 10, 2013 at 2:27 PM

McLennan County sheriff’s records clerk Betty Duncan told CNN that Reed was arrested for possession of a destructive device, booked early Friday, and is in the custody of U.S. Marshals.

Okay, it’s Texas, so I suppose we can rule out cigarettes. I’d still like to know a little more than that it was “a destructive device”.

Dusty on May 10, 2013 at 2:32 PM

stvnscott on May 10, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Yep, except in OKC there was a federal building involved, which for them trumps the subhumans thing.

Christien on May 10, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Betty Duncan told CNN that Reed was arrested for possession of a destructive device, booked early Friday, and is in the custody of U.S. Marshals.

Today that could be anything from a pencil to a pop tart.

BL@KBIRD on May 10, 2013 at 3:24 PM

April 19 , Waco , Oklahoma City , West .
Don’t they teach you in clandestine training …
….. There is no such thing as coincidence ?

Lucano on May 10, 2013 at 3:26 PM

I really don’t want to Richard Jewell this guy, but it’s very interesting that the Rangers are starting a criminal investigation the same morning this guy winds up in federal custody. of course it may just be that they want to be thorough and check out every possibility. We’ll see.

juliesa on May 10, 2013 at 3:30 PM

They might not have found this guy, except for the fact that he told one of his neighbors about his having a pipe bomb, and that person went to the authorities.
Ward Cleaver on May 10, 2013 at 2:27 PM

This guy: “Made me a pipe bomb, hyuk, hyuk, hyuk…”

Neighbor: (Smiles, backs into house, calls 911)

It’s interesting to think how much worse crime would be in this country if beer caused people to shut up instead of running their mouths. But then, I guess beer would not be nearly as popular.

Marcola on May 10, 2013 at 3:38 PM

Chris Matthews suspects a white Tea Party radical extremist did it.

The Rogue Tomato on May 10, 2013 at 3:41 PM

There could be any number of stupid reasons some idiot might set off a pipe bomb at the plant.

Ward Cleaver on May 10, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Caution: a “destructive device” doesn’t necessarily equal a pipe bomb. It could be an arson trigger. But either way, it might point to his being a firebug – either to be a hero, or because he has a problem.

speculating about how right-wing Tea Party types may be involved, based on no evidence whatsoever.

farsighted on May 10, 2013 at 1:50 PM

First, they don’t need no evidence – this guy is a Texan. Second, be careful, he might actually be an otherwise conservative guy.

except in OKC there was a federal building involved, which for them trumps the subhumans thing.

Christien on May 10, 2013 at 2:48 PM

That, and the childcare facility. The kids pretty much made everyone hate him.

GWB on May 10, 2013 at 4:08 PM

It’s interesting to think how much worse crime would be in this country if beer caused people to shut up instead of running their mouths. But then, I guess beer would not be nearly as popular.

Marcola on May 10, 2013 at 3:38 PM

It would severely trim down on the entertainment value of the Darwin awards – in which many candidates began their efforts with “hold my beer and watch this…”

dentarthurdent on May 10, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Today that could be anything from a pencil to a pop tart.

BL@KBIRD on May 10, 2013 at 3:24 PM

Sure hope it wasn’t one o’ them deadly Gatling pens someone posted about the other day….

dentarthurdent on May 10, 2013 at 4:49 PM

I’m reading that the bomb parts included pipe, fuses, various chemical powders, and a digital scale. Apparently a chemist has verified the chemicals. FWIW.

juliesa on May 10, 2013 at 4:59 PM

This guy: “Made me a pipe bomb, hyuk, hyuk, hyuk…”

Neighbor: (Smiles, backs into house, calls 911)

It’s interesting to think how much worse crime would be in this country if beer caused people to shut up instead of running their mouths. But then, I guess beer would not be nearly as popular.

Marcola on May 10, 2013 at 3:38 PM

The neighbor notified ATF, and since ATF people have been on the ground in West, he might not have even had to call them – just visit them at the West city hall or police station.

Ward Cleaver on May 10, 2013 at 5:22 PM

Until now, no one had intimated that this might be a deliberate act.

This is not true at all. The possibility that the fire was arson was never ruled out, and always is investigated when a business burns down (and subsequently blows up in this case). Furthermore, incompetence and irresponsibility are not acts of magic. Failure to act responsibly (such as in drinking and driving) is viewed as a deliberate act in a criminal investigation.

doufree on May 10, 2013 at 5:43 PM

I used to work with Bryce and would be shocked if he was charged. His brother was in fact Cyrus Reed, who was the first person to die.

johnny mox on May 10, 2013 at 5:58 PM

OK Moth-Breathers, after extensive research I have found that there is a “Bryce Reed” on Facebook who:
1) Has a brother;
2) Who works for a company;
3) That is owned by a PROMINENT Texas TEA Party Activist;
4) Who also has met Sarah Palin; and
5) Who has used Koch Industry Products!

QED TEA Party Terrorism, you Red-Neck Rethuglikkkans, own it…..Twist, spin, deny all you want but it is CONCLUSIVE.

JFKY on May 10, 2013 at 6:11 PM

JFKY you are a clown.

johnny mox on May 10, 2013 at 7:48 PM

JFKY you are a clown.

johnny mox on May 10, 2013 at 7:48 PM

So I’ve been told….say you didn’t think Swift was SERIOUS, with his “Modest Proposal” did you?

JFKY on May 10, 2013 at 8:06 PM

Ok this is getting weirder. Apparently Reed was fired from the West emergency service two days after the explosion. His wife left him after that. Cyrus Reed’s family is accusing him of stealing Cyrus’ things and pretending to be his brother. A lot of his LinkedIn resume doesn’t check out. The neighbors are saying Reed told them conflicting stories about his employment. Very strange character.

juliesa on May 11, 2013 at 4:20 AM

(since you would think four weeks into the investigation, if there had been blast device or even materials in the blast area linked to homemade explosive devices, those details would have come out already)

jon1979 on May 10, 2013 at 2:06 PM

maybe but the explosion was massive so evidence might be very hard to piece together and therefore the time frame might not be that much all things considered.

unseen on May 11, 2013 at 7:38 AM

I used to work with Bryce and would be shocked if he was charged. His brother was in fact Cyrus Reed, who was the first person to die.

johnny mox on May 10, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Hmmmm…

The sister of Cyrus Reed told the Dallas Morning News that there is no family relation…that Bryce Reed’s claims of a close friendship with her brother were false.

This is a weird story and it’s too early to tell what to make of it.

“However, on Friday, the paper (Dallas Morning News) quoted Cyrus Reed’s sister as saying her family had been “fooled by Bryce Reed.”

Sarah Reed told the paper her family have gone through Cyrus’ computer and cellphone records and it doesn’t appear the two were as close as Reed had led them to believe.

“He convinced us that he and Cyrus were very close, like brothers,” she told the paper. “But I want people to know they are not brothers, and he is not part of our family.”

According to statements he made on Facebook, there were also indications that some people thought Reed might have profited from donations made to those harmed by the attack. The paper quoted one, from Monday, in which Reed wrote he was “appalled at how people are tearing me apart.”

On Tuesday Reed posted “I have not received ONE CENT for ANYTHING that I did to help with this situation. I have not been paid by the media, by press, I made nothing for delivering my brothers eulogy, and made NOTHING off of this tragedy. I was a shoulder to cry on, I found a GREAT new family, and was blessed to get to tell them about their son.”

According to the Dallas Morning News, on Friday West city officials notified the Texas state agency that licenses paramedics that Reed has lost his job two days after the blast. The emails obtained by the newspaper do not explain his termination. Calls to George Smith, the medical director of West EMS, were not returned Friday.

WFAA-TV in Dallas reported last week that the state fire marshal had told lawmakers that the on-site investigation into the cause of the explosion would be completed by May 10. The report quoted officials as saying the probe involved 300 interviews based on 160 leads…”

http://www.ksdk.com/news/article/379962/28/Bryce-Reed-arrested-for-pipe-bomb

workingclass artist on May 11, 2013 at 8:25 AM