06/07/09 — Officials: Grenade found at Brian Center

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Officials: Grenade found at Brian Center

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on June 7, 2009 2:00 AM

Goldsboro police Operations Maj. Mike Hopper reported Friday that a grenade was found in the parking lot of the Brian Center on Thursday afternoon.

Police still are not sure if the grenade was "live," but took it to the police firing range near Old Mount Olive Highway to detonate it, Hopper said.

According to a "found property" report from the Goldsboro police, Brian Center Manager Jeff Nunn was the first to stumble across the explosive device at the Wayne Memorial Drive health and rehabilitation center.

A munitions expert crew from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base responded to assist with the detonation, as did police Maj. Jeff Stewart, Hopper said.

After the arrival of the 4th Civil Engineer/Explosive Ordnance Disposal Squadron to remove the grenade from the Bryan Center, two houses on Ninth Street were evacuated, according to a report.

During the evacuation, Goldsboro Fire Department Engine No. 3 responded, along with Emergency Medical Services from Unit 61, according to the report.

When the grenade was found, the pin had been pulled, and police were concerned that it could explode at any time, Hopper said.

After the evacuation of people around the area, a safety perimeter was set up around the grenade, using orange cones to restrict traffic, according to the report.

The Seymour Johnson personnel transported the grenade to the firing range where it was detonated using additional explosives, Hopper said.

Hopper said they were unclear where the grenade came from, though it was an older model that Hopper thought could have been a novelty.

However, he added, when detonated, it seemed to explode with more force than expected from the added explosives. That led Stewart to believe combustibles might have been inside the grenade.

"Who knows where it came from," Hopper said. "All we knew is that we had to take the proper steps to remove that threat from employees of the Brian Center and people who live in the surrounding neighborhood."

Hopper said he wanted to give credit to the Seymour Johnson munitions experts.

"It's not every day that this happens, and it's not every day that we're going to need to call on them (Seymour Johnson)," Hopper said. "We just want to give them their kudos for helping us handle this situation appropriately."