Williamsburg bombing suspect caught buying 'smokeless powder' on surveillance video

A Gloucester man has been charged following a small IED explosion in Williamsburg.

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WVEC) -- A 30-year-old Gloucester man remains in custody after what's been described as an improvised explosive device detonated in a Williamsburg parking lot Thursday evening.

Stephen Powers was arrested in connection to the explosion. He has been charged with possession of using an explosive device and committing an act of terrorism.

Williamsburg Police arrested Powers in his home in Gloucester around 8:00 Friday night.

Powers first appeared on police radar when he told them he found threatening notes in the basement of a business where he was working on October 12.

According to court documents, surveillance video caught Powers buying three jars of Benchmark Smokeless powder at a Bass Pro Shop in Hampton.  

Thom Barry, lives houses away from Powers. He said, "it's just amazing that nobody knew what was going on."  "It makes me wonder about my neighbors, a little scary," said Barry.

Some neighbors tell us Powers road a motorcycle, but mainly kept to himself. "Other than that, quite unassuming, has a baby, has a wife," said neighbor, Mike Peterson.

On Thursday at 5 p.m., the Williamsburg Police and Fire responded to an explosion in a parking lot at South Boundary Street and Francis Street.

Initially, the call came in as a car fire.

After units arrived, the cause of the explosion was confirmed as the detonation of an improvised explosive device.

No injuries were reported.

The Williamsburg Fire Department, Colonial Williamsburg Public Safety, the Newport News Police Department and the ATF assisted in the investigation. 

The section of Francis Street between S. Boundary Street and S. Henry Street was closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic while the investigation is conducted. 

Deb Cheesebro, Associate Vice President for Public Safety and Chief of Police released this statement to the William and Mary community:

Though this was not on-campus, know the proximity is close. While the investigation is continuing, there is no indication of any ongoing threat. Williamsburg Police and other agencies are handling the investigation. 

Francis Road was reopened as of 6:15 p.m.

Officials believe this was an isolated incident but will continue to investigate.

If anyone has any information they are asked to contact police at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.

 

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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