A convicted felon who claims he wanted to shoot cops is behind bars in connection with the explosives device planted outside of a Trussville elementary school.
Authorities today announced state charges against 35-year-old Zachary Edwards and 34-year-old Raphel Dilligard, both of eastern Birmingham. They are charged with possession of a hoax destructive device, rendering false alarm and making terrorist threats, said Trussville police Capt. Jeff Bridges.
The warrants were issued this morning after the week-long probe by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Trussville police, the Alabama State Fire Marshal's Office, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.
Edwards claimed to be a member of the Black Panthers and the Black Mafia, but authorities have not yet confirmed his reported associations with any organized group. "My guys believe this individual to be a very dangerous person,'' said Dave Hyche, ATF's assistant special agent in charge in Alabama.
Once brought in for questioning, both gave confessions. Edwards admitted to planting the device, and said his plan was to get all police officers and first responders in one place so he could shoot them. "I guess he doesn't like cops,'' Bridges said.