Johnson City houses evacuated as agents search home of man found with guns, ammo

Credit: Washington County Sheriff's Office/WJHL
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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) -- Washington County Sheriff's Office officials and other agencies searched the home of a man who was arrested yesterday when agents found automatic weapons and several hundred rounds of ammunition during a traffic stop, CBS affiliate WJHL reports.

Sheriff Ed Graybeal told WJHL that the sheriff's office, along with the Johnson City Police Department, JCPD's bomb squad, Washington County EMA, a K-9 unit, Johnson City Fire Department crews, FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms searched Scott Edmisten's home in the 1900 block of Clearwood Drive Tuesday.

Graybeal said agencies responded to the scene just before noon after a tip was received that Edmisten may be housing explosives at his residence.

Graybeal that when officers responded, Edmisten's mother invited them into the residence.

Graybeal said investigators found four guns, one of which was altered to be fully automatic, inside the home.

"We have some things in there, and we're not sure what they are," said Graybeal earlier Tuesday afternoon. "Things that look like explosives with wires on them. One of the cabinets is locked. We want to make sure none of us get hurt, and we don't want to hurt his mother's house."

On Tuesday evening, Graybeal said the items initially believed to be explosive were not.

The sheriff also said eight other homes were evacuated during the response.

"We do not know what we have going on here, and we do not want to take a chance on anyone being hurt," he said.

The nearby Cherokee Elementary School was reportedly not impacted.

"It may not be anything, but it looks like it could be," said Graybeal. "When you have the amount of guns that we had and basically a bad attitude that he had toward and police and society itself, we're not taking any chances."

Graybeal said after Edmisten's arrest Monday, he has not been cooperating with investigators.

"He's not talking to us," said Graybeal. "Not talking to us about anything."

Graybeal said officials are still unsure about why Edmisten had the weapons and ammunition that was found in his car.

"We don't know what he was intending, if he was intending anything," said the sheriff. "But he didn't need what he had."