After a joint investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATF), and the Tift Co. Sheriff’s Office led to the arrest of a Tifton man, Tift Regional Hospital management has issued a statement.
Douglas Kennedy, 72, was charged with manufacture/possession of explosive devices, after a device was found on an unoccupied car parked in Tift Regional Medical Center's employee parking lot, last Sunday.
Statement from Christopher Dorman, President/Chief Operating Officer, Tift Regional Health System:
(Sept. 4, 2017) - Tift Regional Health System (TRHS) would like to thank law enforcement for arresting and charging a person for allegedly planting a small destructive device on an unoccupied vehicle at Tift Regional Medical Center (TRMC) on Dec. 24, 2015 and Aug. 27, 2017. The arrest charges also link the suspect to two other similar cases within the area.
In both incidents at TRMC, no bomb threats were made, there were no injuries and each case was considered minor. We still do not know the motive of the suspect, beyond just being possible random acts, and the matter is still under investigation.
Safety for our patients, staff and visitors is paramount and we would like to commend the TRMC Security Department for their vigilance. In each case, the TRMC Security Department followed protocol and alerted the Tifton Police and Tifton Fire Department.
In turn, the Tifton Police worked with the Tift County Sheriff’s Department, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), the state arson investigator, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATF) and other law enforcement agencies to probe this matter, leading to the eventual arrest. Thanks again to all of the public safety individuals for their efforts.
On Tuesday, August 29, 2017, the Tifton Police Department requested the GBI’s Bomb Disposal Unit to help with a post blast investigation. According to the GBI, the device was "timed" and detonated, damaging the vehicle. No one was hurt.
The GBI Investigators found the incident was related to three other cases in the area. Last December, a device detonated on the hood of an unoccupied car, also in the parking lot.
The GBI said another device exploded on the door of an occupied apartment in Tifton on August 25, 2016. A fourth device detonated on August 27, 2017, in a mailbox at a Tift County home. No one was hurt in any of those incidents.
Investigators found explosives and bomb-making material in Kennedy’s home. He was charged with four counts of manufacture/possession of an explosive device, four counts of criminal damage to property, one count of aggravated assault, and two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are expected.
Anyone with information on this case should call the GBI office in Sylvester at (229) 777-2080 or the Tift County Sheriff’s Office at (229) 388-6020.