Bomb scare clears shopping center in Richland

Bomb scare clears shopping center in Richland »Play Video
RICHLAND, Wash. -- Police responding to a man slumped over in his car in a shopping center parking lot quickly had a bomb situation on their hands.

Officers say he was high on drugs and wanted to kill himself.

It all started when a 29-year-old man was found slumped over the wheel of his car. Police were called to the parking lot in front of AutoZone on George Washington Way.

Officers confirm he was high on drugs. When they woke him up, they found what appeared to be a pipe bomb on his lap. He told police he was having a rough day.

Richland Police Department Sgt. Darryl Judge said, "He was carrying it in case he was stopped by the police, and he was going to blow himself up when he was contacted by the officer."

But his plan failed. Shoppers called 911 before he got the chance. Once authorities confirmed it was an actual bomb, they notified surrounding businesses.

Clark Clark said, "We heard there was an IED or some sort of explosive when we were in OfficeMax or Office Depot over here, and, from there, everybody just spread out away from the car."

Once the bomb squad arrived, it took about two hours to completely destroy it, detonating the device twice.

Bomb squad experts say the bomb only cost about $3 to make at home.

They aren't sure if the suspect has any mental disorders. He's under evaluation and will be booked in Benton County Jail on charges for possession of a bomb.

Even though Clark watched the whole situation unfold, he says he won't let this scare him.

"You can't be scared to live your life is what it boils down to," he said.

Authorities say the bomb was not on a timer, but needed to be lit to go off. They are trying to determine how deadly it would have been.