York County (S.C.) Sheriff’s deputies arrested four men yesterday and charged them with plotting to bomb a school in nearby Charlotte. The bombing was reportedly intended to distract Charlotte police so that the men could rob a credit union.
Deputies arrested Timothy Wayne Eddington, his son, his nephew, and one of their friends at a vacant house near Fort Mill, S.C. Two pipe bombs were found on the kitchen counter of the house, according to the deputies.
York County Sheriff Bruce Bryant told the Charlotte Observer that the four men planned to rob the Founders Federal Credit Union on Commerce Boulevard in southwest Charlotte. Bryant said "multiple sources" told the department of the plot.
The reported ringleader of the plot, Eddington was wanted for unrelated charges involving contracting fraud.
Deputies were tipped to Eddington’s location on Wednesday night. Sheriff Bryant chose to raid the house with the department’s SWAT team "due to possible flight and potential violence on the part of the subjects."
York County SWAT made a dynamic entry into the home by breaching the door and deploying a flash-bang. Upon entry, the team discovered the four men and the two pipe bombs.
They arrested Eddington; his son, Steven Michael Eddington, 18, of Fort Mill; his nephew William Christopher Puckett, 19, of Rock Hill, S.C.; and Edgar Scott Williams IV, 19, of Fort Mill.
The men were charged with criminal conspiracy, manufacturing explosive devices and burglary. No bond has been set yet. Timothy Eddington also was charged with obtaining property by false pretense and breach of trust—charges unrelated to the pipe bombs.
Bryant said he did not know which school was allegedly targeted, but five Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools are within five miles of that credit union. Students do not return to Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools until Monday.
Authorities believe the plot may have been inspired by a sequence in the movie “Die Hard III: Die Hard with a Vengeance” in which international criminals use a bomb at a school to cover a robbery of a Federal Reserve Bank. The movie has been shown several times this month on the AMC channel.