Warrant: Man called in threat to SC school before pipe bombs found at apartment

FORT MILL, S.C. — A convicted felon accused of having pipe bombs at his apartment also called in a bomb threat to a high school, a search warrant says.

Channel 9′s Hunter Sáenz was able to obtain the search warrant Wednesday for 50-year-old Derek Johnson’s south Charlotte apartment.

Nothing was ever found at Fort Mill High School, but authorities did find pipe bombs at Johnson’s apartment.

Johnson allegedly called in the bomb threat on Oct. 13 just on the other side of school grounds. The school was put on lockdown.

In the search warrant, investigators said Johnson called 911 that morning and said, “you’re gonna need fire... I put a bomb in there last night and if anybody tries to leave everybody’s gonna die... They’re gonna appreciate our veterans.”

Authorities traced the call and said Johnson made it at the Peach Stand gas station a mile from the school. Once they matched the phone to Johnson, investigators went to his apartment on Farmhurst Drive.

At Johnson’s apartment, the property manager showed officers the red Cadillac sedan that Johnson drove. Police were able to run the car’s plates and got a hit in the area of the Peach Stand. It matched the time that the threat was made to the high school. CCTV footage from the Peach Stand showed Johnson, in the red Cadillac, pull into the parking lot just before the call was made.

As Sáenz first reported on Tuesday, last Thursday, a bomb squad and others descended on Johnson’s south Charlotte apartment off Farmhurst Road.

According to the search warrant, investigators searched his apartment and car and found two filled pipe bombs, a semi-automatic pistol, four firearm magazines, screws and coins, among other things.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is leading this investigation.

Johnson is still in jail. He’s facing several charges in Charlotte and also several felonies in South Carolina.

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Hunter Sáenz

Hunter Sáenz, wsoctv.com

Hunter is a reporter for Channel 9.