Bryce Reed, a West EMT Whose Best Friend Died in Blast, Arrested for Having "Destructive Device" [Updated]

Categories: Crime, News

Bryce_Reed.jpg
Image via KRGV.com
Bryce Reed
Updated below.

Original story, 10:05 a.m.: An EMT and incident commander with West Emergency Medical Services was arrested early this morning on charges of possessing a "destructive device," multiple media outlets are reporting.

Bryce Reed, 31, is in federal custody. There are two different interpretations of the arrest being presented: Fox 4 reports that he's been arrested "in connection to the investigation of the explosion in West, Texas, that killed 15 people." They say the source of that information is unnamed agents with the federal Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms bureau. But The Dallas Morning News reports that officials haven't yet said whether Reed's arrest was related to the explosion. Under state and federal law, a "destructive device" can mean almost anything: a grenade, a bomb, a missile, poison gas or certain types of firearms.

See also: As West, Texas Counts Its Dead, Some See a Chance to Make a Profit

Reed was interviewed frequently in the aftermath of the April 17 explosion at the West fertilizer plant. He told the L.A. Times a heartbreaking story about heading to a close friend's house to tell them that their son Cyrus Reed, a fellow EMT (and evidently no relation), had died in the explosion. A slideshow at USA Today appears to show Reed weeping at his friend's funeral. In an interview with ABC affiliate KRGV TV, Reed said, "This is a community that makes sure we take care of our own."

According to the News, Reed was arrested around 2 a.m. and was booked into McLennan County Jail before being taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals. He's due to be arraigned at 10:15 in Waco.

WFAA reports that Reed was a volunteer EMS worker, and was placed on leave immediately after the explosion. Every other news outlet refers to him as a current EMT. We'll have updates on this story as they become available.

Update, 10:17: That beeping you hear? That's Fox 4 back-tracking.

Update, 10:32: The Texas Rangers are launching a criminal investigation into the explosion, WFAA's David Schechter reports.

Update, 1:08 p.m.: The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that "unnamed federal sources" told TV station KPRC that the "destructive device" was a pipe bomb:

Houston TV station KPRC quoted unnamed federal sources as saying Reed had asked an acquaintance to store a box for him sometime after the April 17 explosion. The sources said that person decided to look in the box and discovered what appeared to be a pipe bomb. They then called the McLennan County Sheriff's office who contacted federal investigators.

Reed's recent posts on Facebook have been deeply distraught. He repeatedly denies having received any money for his media interviews after the West bombing, and speaks about his grief over Cyrus Reed's death, as well as the death soon after of another friend in an unrelated incident. He also mentions in a May 7 post that his wife recently left him. Part of the post reads:

Have your brother die, your town explode, your crew be emotionally wrecked, and in the midst of it have your wife leave you because you are lost in your own emotions: ALL IN THE SAME WEEK, and see how you fare. People I am doing my BEST to hold myself together, but please for the love of God quit picking me apart. I have to bury yet ANOTHER friend tomorrow. God Bless

On Wednesday, Reed wrote that he was taking a break from posting on the site: "I'm going to take a break from Facebook to reflect. I assure you that I'm ok. God bless you all, and please if you heed nothing else I have said, love one another. God bless. Bryce."

Update, 2:20 p.m.: Jason Trahan over at WFAA has posted a copy of the federal complaint against Reed. The attached affidavit, written by an ATF agent, says that Reed possessed the "components of a pipe bomb," including a metal pipe, end caps, a hobby fuse, a lighter, a plastic spoon, coiled metal ribbons and "several pounds of chemical powders in individual bags."

The affidavit states that a person at a house in Abbott had "unwittingly taken possession" of the pipe bomb components from Reed.

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27 comments
mcdallas
mcdallas

Am I the only one who recalls, just after the explosion, hearing 911 tapes in which the phrase "a bomb just went off" was uttered?  I found that fishy at the time.  Even moreso now.

Melinda Cook
Melinda Cook

When you say you were detained for "not turning over my zippo lighter" , did you mean you forgot you had it in your pocket...or do you mean you refused to give it to them and 'made a scene'? I'm curious how much it cost you to take care of the charge.

Jay Rieve
Jay Rieve

I was detained at DFW once for not turning over my Zippo lighter...the charge was "possession of a destructive device". Just sayin.

roger1000
roger1000

After reading the definition of destructive devices, unless it is some kind of gun, why would he have any of the other types of things in his posession?  Won't make a judgment until the investigation is complete.   I hope and pray that he had nothing to do with this tragedy.  Accidents can definitely be forgiven, but doing something this horrible intentionally would be unforgiveable.

angels638302
angels638302

His updates have not been odd, he is going through a lot. As have many of the first responders and citizens who witnessed the devastation in West that night and lost many family and friends. I'm sure if you look at many updates on facebook, not only on his page, you would see that all of the updates are filled with emotions, devastation, and loss of loved ones, homes etc. You don't know what is going on in his personal life and how everything is affecting him. Don't judge him you could never put yourself in his shoes to know what he is going through. And I pray you never have to be in a position like he and others have been in. He is a great father, an awesome Paramedic, and a friend to everyone.

angels638302
angels638302

His updates have not been odd, he is going through a lot. As have many of the first responders and citizens who witnessed the devastation in West that night and lost many family and friends. I'm sure if you look at many updates on facebook, not only on his page, you would see that all of the updates are filled with emotions, devastation, and loss of loved ones, homes etc. You don't know what is going on in his personal life and how everything is affecting him. Don't judge him you could never put yourself in his shoes to know what he is going through. And I pray you never have to be in a position like he and others have been in. He is a great father, an awesome Paramedic, and a friend to everyone.

Steve Gehlsen
Steve Gehlsen

lol, I don't care who you are; that's funny right there...

ChrisDangerShow
ChrisDangerShow

Without jumping to conclusions, this case may or may not be related to the west tragedy. I prefer to wait until the evidence comes out before making a judgement..

NOWiGETit
NOWiGETit

His fbook updates have been particularly odd this week.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

@ Jo-Jumping poking a bit of fun.Jumping to conclusions is par for the course here so......

Jo-anna Perkins
Jo-anna Perkins

i know, but device is a broad term, it could have been fireworks for all we know, and according to you tube i have enough crap in my kitchen to make an explosive device, just sayin, i want details before we go off on this man.

Dallas Observer
Dallas Observer

UPDATE: The Texas Rangers are launching a criminal investigation into the explosion (via WFAA)

Marc C. Socolov
Marc C. Socolov

Why not? We already crucified and called for a teacher's job for saying "bitching". This...Well...Is a little more grand scale... :)

Jo-anna Perkins
Jo-anna Perkins

okay lets just stop and wait untill all the details are clear, no witch hunts please

Cody Neathery
Cody Neathery

Went to Collin County Community College with him and did a road trip to SXSW as volunteers. Interesting turn of events.

NOWiGETit
NOWiGETit

@angels638302 He may be going through a lot, but his facebook updates are still odd.  They were odd even before it came to light that he was arrested.

NOWiGETit
NOWiGETit

@angels638302 @NOWiGETit Knew him.  Look, he may or may not have had anything to do with this tragedy.  I hope he didn't, but as an observer, his fbook posts have been odd recently and that makes me raise an eyebrow.

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