Who is Garrett James Smith? Florida man, 22, brought pipe bomb to Jan 6 anniversary rally
The pipe bomb Smith was carrying had the capacity to injure and even kill dozens at the rally if it was detonated
PINELLAS COUNTY, FLORIDA: Florida police have arrested a 22-year-old man on his birthday on January 6, 2022, after he was found with a homemade pipe bomb at a Capitol Riots commemorative rally. Garrett James Smith, a resident of Oldsmar city, attended the Jan 6 anniversary rally that was organized by local MAGA supporters. The rally was held in protest of the arrest of a local man who participated in the Capitol Riots a year ago.
Garrett Smith attended the rally in black clothing and a black face mask, sparking suspicion among local deputies. He suddenly appeared to be scared of something and started sprinting away, when he was chased down by the cops. Later, his backpack revealed several harmful items including a pipe bomb packed with nails. A black helmet with red logos, similar to those worn by Portland protestors was also found. Smith carried a handwritten action list, where he mentioned weapons like flammable rags, multitool pocket knife, gas mask, pepper spray, and others.
After searching his parents' home in Oldsmar, where Smith resided with his parents and siblings, police found more pipe bombs, hand grenade-type explosives, nails and duct tape used in the explosives. Last year during the Capitol riots, a pipe bomb had been discovered near Kamala Harris's DNC Headquarters prompting an emergency evacuation of the VP.
Local cops at Pinellas County have branded Smith as a 'sleeper' suspect, with no prior criminal record or social media presence to his name. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said, "These are the most concerning individuals because there's no opportunity to intervene and thwart their criminal activity until they actually act." Adding that Smith pleaded the fifth and refused to cooperate with the investigation, Sheriff Gualtieri said, "Smith refused to give any information, he refused to talk to deputies, and we really have no idea as what his political leanings are, or whether he supported or opposed the protestors at the jail. We also don't know exactly what his plan was or why Smith was running away from the protest area when he was apprehended by deputies and before he had an opportunity to detonate the explosive device."
The pipe bomb Smith was carrying had the capacity to injure and even kill dozens at the rally if it was detonated. "It could have been very destructive and he could have hurt a lot of people. He was running fast and it looked like he was fleeing from something. He was prepared to do it, he had his device, he was all dressed. Something happened because it caused him to flee," the Sheriff added. His exact motive behind the planned attack remains unclear.