Bomb squad detonates pipe bombs sent as ‘gift from ex-boyfriend’ (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)
A small section of downtown Muncie was shut down around PDQ Taxi on Thursday morning, as the Delaware County Bomb Squad investigated and detonated the package in a controlled explosion. Several businesses in the area were evacuated.
Final 4th charge has disabled device and destroyed it. Police indicated it resembled a pvc pipe bomb. Investigation underway. pic.twitter.com/NeKI45BE1y— Corey Ohlenkamp (@Ohlenkamp) December 29, 2016
The unnamed woman, an employee of PDQ Taxi, received the small wooden box and brought it to work, thinking it was a gift, the company’s owner told WXIN. However, when she opened the package in front of her coworkers, they saw a timer and a pipe.
The employees put the package outside, then the woman called 911, and the bomb squad was dispatched to the scene to disable the two devices that resembled PVC pipe bombs, the Muncie Star Press reported.
WATCH: Explosives detonated in front of Muncie business. Owner tells us an employee brought the explosive to work - thinking it was a gift. pic.twitter.com/iGeF5CoE0O— Alexis McAdams (@AlexisMcAdamsTV) December 29, 2016
“We’re lucky that thing didn’t go and have a couple of people in pieces out here,” Brad Luttrell of the Muncie Police Department told WTHR.
They then used remote-controlled bomb disposal robot to fire a disabling charge, but that failed. Next, they wired smaller explosives to the device to disable the bombs’ firing mechanism and power. That led to three small explosions that destroyed the device.
“Right now we are going over the scene with our evidence techs and we are going to try to help trace this back,” Kurt Walthour with the Delaware County Bomb Squad told the Star Press.
Bomb squad using robotic device to enter home first- in case there are more explosives pic.twitter.com/9BG7CKaw5i— Alexis McAdams (@AlexisMcAdamsTV) December 29, 2016
Investigators have detained a man and a woman in the case, and issued at least two search warrants at homes in Muncie, WXIN’s Alexis McAdams reported.
Bomb technicians sending robots into Muncie home after two explosive devices found outside business this morning. pic.twitter.com/KOYtOAv7rn— Jeremy Brilliant (@JeremyIndy1) December 29, 2016
Police are preparing charges against at least one suspect, whom they say sent the explosive device to his ex-girlfriend, trying to blow her up as well as the school bus she drives, according to WTHR’s David MacAnally.
Friend of Muncie bomb suspect defends him pic.twitter.com/6fTp8tGodX— David MacAnally (@DavidMacAnally) December 29, 2016
Police identified the suspect as Lionel Mackey. He faces charges of placing an explosive device, manufacturing a destructive device, attempted aggravated battery, intimidation with a deadly weapon and invasion of privacy.
The woman told investigators that she had recently broken up with Mackey, and that he had threatened to blow her and her school bus up.
This is Lionel Mackey - the man that police say sent an explosive device to to his ex girlfriend in Muncie. pic.twitter.com/FZIUGVK8k0— Alexis McAdams (@AlexisMcAdamsTV) December 29, 2016
Mackey, 38, claims his ex-girlfriend framed him, however.
Lionel Mackey on his way to jail tonight. He tells us he was framed by his ex-girlfriend and says he did NOT send an explosive. pic.twitter.com/HGIeDhB23y— Alexis McAdams (@AlexisMcAdamsTV) December 29, 2016
When police searched Mackey’s home, they found several items that are consistent with building bombs, WRTV reported.