Bombs seized in county

Authorities seized and safely detonated two pipe bombs that a Williston man had constructed in his home last week.

On Feb. 17, police from the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division, the Barnwell County Sheriff's Office as well as members of the Williston Fire Department and Williston Rescue Squad were on hand as the situation was defused without harm to any people or property.

Deputies from the sheriff's office discovered two gunpowder-based pipe bombs at the home of David Ray Waddell, 50, of 10371 S.C. 39 in Williston, said Barnwell County Sheriff Ed Carroll.

Carroll said that Waddell made the devices in his home.

After Waddell was removed from the scene, three remote controlled robots from the SLED bomb squad removed the devices and exploded them safely, Carroll said.

"They were able to bring the two pipe bombs to a predetermined location where they were placed in two holes and then detonated," he said.

Four sheriff's deputies and a member of the SLED crime scene unit were on hand. Members of the Williston Rescue Squad and the Williston Fire Department were on standby as a precaution.

However, neither the paramedics or firefighters had to be involved in the situation, Carroll said.

SLED sent four people from its bomb squad as well as the crime scene member, who was there to gather evidence after the devices were exploded, he said.

Carroll said that Waddell was being charged with possession of a destructive device and that more charges were pending.

Since the incident, Waddell has been transferred to the Bryan Psychological Ward in Columbia for evaluation, Carroll said.

Carroll would not comment directly on what he thought Waddell's intent was with the bombs.

"He made some statements that I cannot disclose before trial," he said. "I think there was ill intent in his heart."

The sheriff said he did not want to comment in detail on the construction of the bombs for fear that someone else might try and create one.