Church vandalized with call to free pipe bomber suspect, South Carolina officials say

Sunday school was canceled and bomb sniffing dogs searched a church over the weekend after calls for the release of a suspected pipe bomber were spray-painted across the building, WSPA reports.

Graffiti scrawled across the Bible Baptist Church in Pickens County, South Carolina said, “Free Mike Seabrooke. Must go free now,” according to images shared by local television stations.

Police arrested 35-year-old Michael Seabrooke earlier this month. Federal investigators say he planted two pipe bombs next to the Pickens County Courthouse in Upstate South Carolina and threw “destructive devices” onto the roof of a Department of Social Services building, The State reported.

Federal investigators say Seabrooke confessed shortly after his arrest, according to The State.

Someone used green spray paint to write the calls to free the bombing suspect across the church’s fellowship hall and on a small shed, WHNS reports.

Police were on scene Sunday morning to investigate the vandalism, according to the station.

Most of the windows in the church were also broken, WYFF reports.

“It’s senseless,” Pastor Mark Dibler told WYFF. “We don’t know anybody connected with that case, and I guess I’m trying to figure out the mindset.”

Investigators with the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arrested Seabrooke at his home in Columbia July 9.

“It was a very quick timeline — he essentially detonated these devices on Sunday night in Pickens and by Tuesday, he was in custody some 130 miles away,” said Lance Crick, with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in South Carolina, according to The State. “This speaks to the incredible coordination between local, state and federal law enforcement.”

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Charles Duncan covers what’s happening right now across North and South Carolina, from breaking news to fun or interesting stories from across the region. He holds degrees from N.C. State University and Duke and lives two blocks from the ocean in Myrtle Beach.