Ex-EMS From Devastated West (Texas) Faces Sentencing for Collecting Pipe Bomb Materials
This is a strange story with a lot of missing pieces. It could well be just coincidence that Reed happened to be collecting bomb materials before the plant blew up, and behaved like a grandstanding goofball afterward. Otoh, I am glad he is behind bars, even if for just a few years. That will keep him on ice long enough for new evidence, if any, to emerge. He will wind up on death row if the authorities can connect him to the explosion itself.
DALLAS — A few weeks after Bryce Reed proclaimed he would personally protect a Texas town devastated by a deadly fertilizer plant explosion, he was arrested by federal agents who said he collected materials to make a pipe bomb, driving suspicion that he might have been behind the blast.
Now, Reed is mostly a footnote. While he will be sentenced Wednesday in Waco for charges related to the pipe bomb, the former paramedic was never charged in the explosion in West, about 80 miles south of Dallas, where residents and town officials are still working to rebuild homes and schools.
“I don’t know if anybody’s paid much attention to that guy,” said Tommy Muska, the town’s mayor. “In my opinion, he had absolutely nothing to do with the explosion.”
An initial fire at West Fertilizer Co. led to the ignition of stores of ammonium nitrate, a chemical used as fertilizer that can become deadly when unstable. As many as 34 tons of ammonium nitrate detonated, causing an explosion that registered as a small earthquake and killed 12 people. It also displaced hundreds of residents and led to the demolition of more than 100 homes.