OKLAHOMA CITY – Police have detonated a live explosive device, possibly a pipe bomb, that was discovered inside a lunchbox in an abandoned metro home. It happened around 10 p.m. Monday.
“I just picked the bag up, and it seemed a little bit heavy so I thought, ‘Well, there might be something good in it,’” Chris Howell told News 4.
However, what Howell and his friend, Billy Miller, found inside the lunchbox was rather quite terrifying.
“Brought the box back home, and started going through it, and my little old nephew was in front of me – holding his little baby – and I said ‘Turn around. You need to go home. I’m going to walk backwards,’” Howell said.
What they discovered inside the box ended up prompting calls to the bomb squad.
“We opened it up. There was a bag in there with a rag on top of it. We pulled the rag off of it, and we seen the device. It was a pipe, capped off at both ends with wires coming off of it, and I was like what, that’s just too crazy,” Miller said.
The two said they were hired to clean out a home on S.W. 37th near Independence. The home was abandoned and filled with leftover stuff piled up to the ceiling. As a form of payment, their boss told them they could keep whatever they found there.
One of the items they kept was the lunchbox. However, the two didn’t discover the alleged pipe bomb until they opened it up when they got home to the area of N.W. 26th and Western.
Turns out, a few months ago, there was another terrifying situation that unfolded at the same home.
“The man was standing on the front porch with a gun, and his son came running out and said he shot at him with a shot gun,” said a woman who lives across the street.
According to a police report, the man, Lonny Claxton, barged into his son’s room, “upset and going through his belongings, looking for knives.” His son allegedly threatened to call police, which is when Claxton pointed a gun at him and allegedly said “I’m going to kill you if you call the cops.”
Police learned later that day that Claxton was a convicted felon and there might be a pipe bomb at the home.
“Cops surrounded the whole freaking neighborhood. They called him out,” the woman who lives across the street said.
Police never found the pipe bomb during the search – until now, thanks to Howell and Miller.
“The fact that we opened this up right by our families, both of our families… His family is right there. My family is right there,” Miller said. “I’ve never seen nothing like this but in a movie.”
Police are still investigating who created the explosive device.