Man accused of detonating explosive device at Piqua High School in custody after standoff

A man was arrested during a standoff early Tuesday after he reportedly detonated an explosive device at Piqua High School, setting it on fire.

No injuries were reported at the school, according to Piqua police.

Grady William Douglas Egerton, 20, of Piqua, is facing unlawful possession of a dangerous ordnance, inducing panic, vandalism and arson charges, according to Miami County Municipal Court records.

He’s accused of making an explosive device and detonating it Monday at Piqua High School. Crews were called to the high school around 7:33 p.m. Monday after a caller reported flames inside the building, according to police records.

Additional 911 calls indicated a trash can in the entrance was on fire and that a popping noise and explosion was heard in the area.

The device blew out several doors and windows and caught the high school’s entrance on fire, according to court documents. The estimated damage is a reported $15,000.

Police found a red container near the trash can. Video footage from the high school showed a man, later identified as Egerton, walk in front of the entrance at 7:26 p.m., according to police records.

Egerton was reportedly seen placing a propane tank behind a trash can on the footage. He lit a match and threw it near the tank, but it did not catch.

He then threw a match in the trash can, which caused the propane tank to explode, according to police records.

Police obtained a search warrant for Egerton’s residence and served it late Monday.

“During the execution of the search warrant, Egerton produced a pistol, and officers fired shots at the suspect,” read a statement from police. “Following a multi-hour standoff and utilizing gas to evacuate the suspect, officers deployed a Taser to take Egerton into custody at about 4 a.m. July 2.”

A tactical response team was called to the scene after Egerton reportedly brandished the weapon.

No one else was home at the time of his arrest. Once the search was completed police determined the weapon was a CO2 pistol, or air gun.

A small propane tank was found at Egerton’s residence and collected as evidence, according to police.

Egerton was taken to Upper Valley Medical Center to be evaluated and then booked into the Miami County Jail.

He pleaded not guilty during his arraignment Tuesday morning and his bond was set at $250,000. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for July 10.

Piqua High School staff are working to secure the building and begin repairs.

Tony Lyons, Piqua City Schools assistant superintendent, thanked the Piqua Police Department for their quick response.

“The fire was contained quickly, allowing for limited damage to the building’s exterior,” he said. “No individuals were present in the area, and there were no reported injuries. We also want to thank the Piqua Police Department for their hard work and quick response identifying and arresting the individual in question.”

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