Records: Police seize 27 guns from mentally ill man

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — After the discovery of several guns, grenades, a Claymore mine, a rocket launcher and a handwritten letter threatening congressional officials inside a Missouri home, police were concerned about possible terrorist activity.

However, after a more thorough search, Springfield police determined the grenades, mine and rocket launcher were inert, meaning the explosive portions of the weapons had been removed or never installed, and the man who had amassed the stockpile of weapons was suffering from a mental illness.

Recently unsealed court documents indicate police were called to a duplex on Sept. 10 after someone reported loud banging noises coming from his neighbor's side of the duplex.

Upon arrival, police ordered Rhett Waggoner, the caller's neighbor, out of the residence, the documents say. After obtaining a search warrant, police entered Waggoner's home where they allegedly found the weapons.

According to the search warrant list, police seized marijuana, a knife, medication commonly used to treat bipolar disorder, computers, body armor with "Police" written on the back, camouflage clothing, two cellphones, 13 rifles, five shotguns, nine handguns, five grenades, ammunition, a Claymore mine and a rocket launcher with a "rocket."

Documents say one of the shotguns had a shortened barrel, making it illegal.

When officers entered the home, they noticed numerous holes in the walls that looked like they had been made with a broom handle, according to the documents.

Police said they also found a piece of paper with a House of Representatives heading printed on it. Several notes were handwritten on the paper, including, "You got lots of blood on your hands" and "I'm coming to get you!!!"


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Waggoner allegedly told police he was being targeted because he figured out who was responsible for the assassination of President  Kennedy and the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Police spoke to Waggoner's father who told them Waggoner is bipolar and had not been taking his medication, according to the documents.

The documents indicate Waggoner's landlord also told police Waggoner had become increasingly paranoid and erratic.

In applying for the search warrant, police said they were looking for evidence related to "planned attacks."

Waggoner, 46, has been charged with possession of an illegal shotgun and property damage. He was arrested, then released on $50,000 bond. Records indicate he does not have an attorney listed for this case.

Possession of an illegal weapon is a Class C felony that carries a maximum sentence of 7 years in prison.

A bond recommendation document said Waggoner also was arrested in July after he allegedly tried to crash his vehicle into a car on a highway.

During that arrest, Waggoner made statements about corresponding with George Bush and Richard Nixon, the documents said. Waggoner had a gun and a police badge in the car.

Follow Harrison Keegan on Twitter: @HKeeganNL

Springfield News-Leader


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