The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office in cooperation with several other agencies is looking for a 25-year-old white male in connection with three bombings in the area on Tuesday; one in Fredericksburg and two in Stafford County.
Laurence Alan Stewart II, age 25, of no fixed address is considered armed and dangerous, said Stafford County Sheriff Charles Jett. "This man is a serious danger to society and has already attempted to murder two law enforcement officers," said Jett.
Stewart is being charged in Stafford County with two counts of attempted capital murder of a law enforcement officer, two counts of arson of an occupied dwelling and one count of use of a weapon or device for a terror act. The City of Fredericksburg is also charging Stewart with one count of attempted capital murder of a law enforcement officer, one count of missile into a occupied dwelling and one count arson of an occupied dwelling.
At approximately 4 a.m. on Tuesday, the Fredericksburg Police and Fire Departments responded to a reported explosion inside a home in the 3100 block of Normandy Avenue, according to Jett. Three rooms were damaged, windows were shattered and a hole was blown in the roof. The preliminary investigation revealed a homemade pipe bomb was thrown to the rear of the residence.
The adult female occupant of the home was not injured and evacuated the home safely, along with her dog.
Detectives have determined the woman was not the intended target of the bombing. The home had previously been occupied by a Stafford County Sheriff's Deputy, who no longer lives there. The current resident of the home has no connection to law enforcement.
At 4:33 a.m. Tuesday, Stafford deputies responded to an address in the Kings Grant subdivision in Stafford County for a report of an explosion. A preliminary investigation revealed that a homemade pipe bomb was thrown outside of the residence. None of the occupants inside of the home were injured, said Jett. The home sustained damage from the explosion.
The third incident occurred at 5:33 a.m. Oct. 30 in the Country Ridge subdivision of Stafford County. The Sheriff’s Office responded to for a report of an explosion. "Once again preliminary investigation revealed that a homemade pipe bomb was thrown to the rear of the residence," said Jett. None of the occupants inside of the home were injured; the home did sustain damage.
One of the Stafford homes was occupied by a Stafford County Detective and his family, the other by the suspect's former girlfriend.
Stewart is 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighs about 220 pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes.
His vehicle is a red 2012 Hyundai Accent sedan with either Virginia or Pennsylvania tags:
- Virginia tag: WXA-8249
- Pennsylvania tag: HLM-1923
"Right now we have over 50 ATF agents working this case," said ATF Special Agent in Charge Richard Marianos at Wednesday's press conference. He said investigators are also working in Philadelphia, Ohio and Indiana, where the suspect has contacts.
"These people [law enforcement] give their lives for the community, and to be terrorized by this individual does not sit well with any of us," said Marianos.
"We believe this guy premeditated and planned these offenses," said Marianos. "We believe he has explosive devises he is travelling with right now. We need to utilize everybody's eyes on this one. I implore your help on this investigation,” he said.
The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Fredericksburg Police Department, the Virginia State Police, the Stafford County Fire Marshal’s Office and the Fredericksburg Fire Marshal’s Office is asking the public’s assistance in locating Laurence Stewart.
Anyone with information is requested to call the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office at 540-658-4400, Crime Solvers at 540-659-2020 or by texting STAFFORD and your tip to CRIMES (274637).