SAMPSON COUNTY, N.C. — A man has been charged after two North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation bomb squad agents were injured during an explosion in Sampson County early Friday morning, officials said.
According to the Sampson County Sheriff's Office, authorities pulled over 33-year-old Jimmy Tyndall for speeding on U.S. Highway 421 near U.S. Highway 13 Thursday afternoon and searched his vehicle.
During the search, deputies said an explosive device was found inside the car, prompting them to shut down the highway and evacuate nearby homes.
The SBI's bomb squad was called for backup and agents safely disposed of the device.
Deputies said after further investigation, evidence led them to Tyndall's home on JV Farm Lane, where bomb-making materials were found in and around the property.
According to the SBI, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Timothy Luper and Special Agent Brian Joy were at the home helping collect evidence. Officials said the agents were trying to defuse some bomb-making materials when they exploded, injuring both agents.
T.C. Fuller knows what it takes to be on a bomb squad. He's a retired FBI agent and defused bombs during his stint in the Army.
Fuller said it’s difficult to know what happened in Sampson County but this should remind the general public that it's very dangerous work.
"The reality is if you're walking up on an unexploded piece of ordnance whether it's military or homemade, it's inherently dangerous,” Fuller said.
According to the SBI, Joy was flown to the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill and is in critical condition. Luper was also taken to the center for treatment and is in stable condition.
Fuller said the people who are in this work are in a brotherhood and he feels for them and their families.
"Whenever you see one of them go out there and take the long walk and get hurt in the process, of course you can't help but think, 'There but for the grace of God go I,'” Fuller said.
Tyndall is facing several charges, including larceny, three counts of possession of a weapon of mass destruction, speeding and possession of methamphetamine.
He's being held at at the Sampson County Jail under $151,000 bond.
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