FBI Confirms Arrest In Explosion At Bixby Air Force Recruiting Center

Tuesday, July 11th 2017, 2:35 pm
By: Emory Bryan

The FBI said they have made an arrest in the pipe bomb explosion outside an Air Force recruiting center near 101st and Memorial in Bixby.  Police said the pipe bomb went off around 10:30 p.m. Monday, July 10.

A person of interest was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon at the Sand Dollar Apartments at 61st and Riverside. Officials identified that man as Ben Roden.

Tulsa Police, who assisted in the arrest, have set up a command post at Johnson Park, 66th and Riverside. There's also a large law enforcement presence at the apartment complex.

Special Agent Jessi Rice said Bixby police did an excellent job of securing the scene and starting the investigation. They called in Tulsa's bomb squad to help clear the scene and make sure there were no other devices in the area.

Those agencies, the ATF and the FBI processed evidence at the center for several hours before finishing up around 5:30 a.m.

Agents are investigating the explosion as a criminal act and do not consider it an act of terrorism because they haven’t determined a motive for why it was placed there.

“At this point, we don't know if it was a disgruntled employee, domestic terrorism, or someone just playing games, so we're treating it as criminal investigation with an explosive device,” Rice said.

7/11/2017 Related Story: Explosion Damages Bixby Air Force Recruiting Office

The damage was limited to front of the recruiting office and didn't even trigger burglar alarms next door.

A glass company replaced the doors before noon, but the office remained closed.

Agents are canvassing the area looking for surveillance video. They have witnesses who reported a motorcycle seen leaving the area, and agents are following up on that lead, Rice said.

There was an act of vandalism at the Air Force National Guard Recruiting Station over the weekend and they are looking into whether the incidents are related, she said.

Investigators will also reconstruct the explosive device, the agent said.

No one was inside the recruiting center when the pipe bomb went off, and no one was injured.

Whether the act was criminal or political, the person who set the bomb will face federal charges, Rice said. The act was made against the military which the FBI takes very seriously, the agent said.

"The fact that it was an explosive device, that was legitimate, that caused damage, that kicks it up a few notices," she said.

The FBI said 20 agents were assigned to the case, with more ready nearby.