Explosive material found in student's book bag

By: Jonathan Martin Email
By: Jonathan Martin Email

May 23, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---Westside High School was evacuated this morning and a student is now in custody after deputies say a suspicious device was found in his book bag.

18-year-old senior Raymond Smalley is charged with possessing an explosive or destructive device with intent to kill, injure or intimidate individuals or destroy public buildings; possessing a weapon on school property; and carrying a concealed weapon.

Board of Education police tell News 12 his suspicious behavior led to a search of his bag, which turned up an aerosol can with some kind of fuse attached.

Three days to go in the school year, officers were taking no chances today. Students were evacuated to a parking lot across the street, disrupting their exams, and bomb-sniffing dogs, the bomb squad and the fire department were brought in.

No one was hurt, but parents came to the school out of concern for their children.

"My direct thought was Virginia Tech," said parent Stephanie Huff. "It scared me to death. It's so close to home. It was a very frightful feeling. I am right here on Washington Road, so I got in my car and came."

"My first reaction was 'device, that means a bomb is going off'," said parent Juanethea Lord. "That's my first reaction, and as a minister, I started praying, 'Lord, keep my child and the rest of them'."

The school was evacuated earlier this week for a bomb threat. Because this is the second time the school has been evacuated this week, there is a chance students will have to come back to school next week to finish up exams.

Smalley is being held at the Richmond County Jail.

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  • by Mr. Dowds on Jun 16, 2008 at 05:30 PM
    Thats crazy mmmmkay? I know ur too stupid to get my work. Why the **** is u tryin to blow stuff up mmmkay? ****
  • by Oh, we're all just students Location: Augusta on May 10, 2008 at 10:06 PM
    I didn't know the kid personally, so I can't say I have any real sympathy for him. I think I only talked to him once. He didn't seem like the the type to want to blow up the school, but hey, not many do. Either way, I hope he has a great life. Oh, and people- learn how to type. Jeez.
  • by Melanie Location: Augusta Ga on Jan 11, 2008 at 09:03 PM
    Well, i live 3 or 4 houses down from ray..and i have lived in the same neighborhood as him and went to school with him since elementary school...and i honestly dont think he was intending to hurt anybody, sure it was dumb and he was picked on alot and never accepted socially but he was trying to get attention.. and btw i see him everyday outside and such he's not in jail he got out shortly after beng arrested
  • by mr.goodmorning Location: Savannah on Oct 15, 2007 at 10:04 AM
    Ray has been hassled by his classmates for as long as I can remember; I went to middle school with him. I distinctly remember two kids pushing him down & breaking his glasses one day between classes while all of the other students around him stood by & laughed. It's really sad that he decided to go & do this, & it would have been terrible had he hurt anyone, but it's equally sad that his mind was so frustrated by some of those around him that he actually considered it an option. Those who have posted here & stated that he's "getting what he deserves" ought to really take into consideration what he has had to deal with throughout his life. It's easy to sit back & claim no fault in this, but every effect has a cause. I just hope he can move on from this & not get in too much trouble.
  • by Muhammad Location: Augusta on Aug 24, 2007 at 07:05 AM
    what is wrong wit all ya'll lil punks the main reasson why he did it cause ya'll always pick on him, and never gave him a chance to fit in I don't even see why he wanted to hang around ya'll cause you ain't nothin but some back stabers what ya'll need to do is help him and not put him down!
  • by cuddles Location: westside on May 29, 2007 at 12:56 PM
    i think ur dumb for trying to set off it ur were so close to graduting and now ur in jail for 20yrs to life
  • by marie Location: Augusta on May 25, 2007 at 05:42 PM
    There is an organization called,MOMS IN TOUCH.This is a national organization that has been established by moms,grandmoms to adopt a school for the soul purpose of PRAYING for the school,to cover each child in prayer and to pray for the teachers.The organization here in Richmond County has mothers and grandmoms to pray once a month for their adopted school.The meetings are not done on school property but privately.After reading the comments made by some of these kids,I contacted a Mom Intouch co-ordinator to see who if any is Covering Westside.Sad to say no one and it is obvious.The co-ordinator say that they are trying to recruit prayer partners because so many schools in Richmond county are not covered. I would like to see Westside(pupils and teachers,principal,custodians,the building and it's grounds covered with fervent effectual prayer.It ie desperately needed there,Glenhill and Butler are no exceptions.I feel for these kids and their future.A mind truely is a terrible thing to lose,but even more terrible is to lose the souls of these youth.It grives my heart to know the directions that they seem to be heading in.It's like a car traveling at 100 miles per hour into a mountain wall.Lets find the breaks before it's to late for them.
  • by James Location: NYC on May 25, 2007 at 02:11 PM
    Obviously there are a number individuals responding on this website that need help and soon will need legal help. Don't you know that they have your IP address and making a written comment of harassment,intimidations or threating to harm a student physically or emotionally is a violation of the S.C. Safe School Climate Act Section 59-63-110. Keep it up, it will help Mr. Smalley's defense team.
  • by Alan Location: Westside on May 25, 2007 at 10:04 AM
    Ray. OMG!!!!! U are soooo stupid! U messed up our exam week, as well as your own life! Why in da flip'n world would u do something like that? They say that we only have one life to live, and you will be living it in jail. (sigh) Oh well. Your life not mine sucka!
  • by Brooklyn Location: Westside on May 25, 2007 at 05:46 AM
    HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!! U r a total loser!! Im soooooooo glad u did that! I ain't gotta put up wit u and yo stank emo self. I kinda feel bad for you though. Dude, u totally screwed up yo life!! O well, u only have one life to live, and now u gonna live it in JAIL!!!!!!!!!! *Tip from your friends: Don't drop da soap! That'll give a whole new meaning to the word "slammer!" Those guys will ROCK YOUR WORLD!!!!! Drop me some soap!!!!
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