WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. — New information has been released about the man caught carrying numerous weapons and more than 900 rounds of ammunition in east Tennessee.
According to CBS affiliate WJHL, Scott Edmisten was “unsteady” and “very angry” when authorities pulled him over during a traffic stop this week.
On Tuesday, WREG reported Edmisten was driving on a suspended license when he was caught going 55 mph in a 30 mph zone. He allegedly floored it, reaching speeds of 80 mph before finally coming to a stop and taken into custody.
An inventory of his vehicle recovered a loaded .357 magnum, a loaded .45 semi auto, a full auto AR rifle in .223 caliber, a full auto AR rifle in .308 caliber, over 900 rounds of ammunition, a mask and black fatigues. Neither of the full auto rifles were registered and the serial numbers were gone.
Four other guns were reportedly discovered inside the suspect’s home as officer’s executed a search warrant. One had been altered to make it fully automatic. Investigators also found about $6,000 worth of ammunition that hadn’t been opened.
Washington County Sheriff Ed Graybeal told the Associated Press while guns and ammunition are common in Tennessee, it was “odd” for all the guns and clips to be loaded. In addition, he said, when people have survival gear with them, they are usually going hunting, but that didn’t seem to be the case.
Deputies also said Edmisten wouldn’t make eye contact with them and at one point stated “I know this is about CPS, and I promise you they will get the justice that is coming.” When asked what that meant, “[Edmisten] stated all I needed to know is that justice is coming and I could add myself to that list,” police reports read.
The documents also stated the suspect made threats towards officers and staff, lunged at them and even confessed to making the weapons fully automatic. However, he stated he had not been able to test it out yet.
When asked why he had the guns, he responded saying “all it takes is one.”
Further investigation reveals Edmisten was already on police radar after he allegedly sent “hostile” letters to judges in east Tennessee. He had also just recently lost custody of his children.
Graybeal said he didn’t know why Edmisten lost custody, but that the suspect made it clear he did not like the Department of Children’s Services or law enforcement.
“Whatever he had planned for that morning, that little traffic stop that one of my guys made made all the difference in the world to someone, I believe,” Graybeal said.
Edmisten has been jailed without bond on charges of possessing prohibited weapons, speeding, and felony evading arrest. An attorney listed in court records as representing Edmisten didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment. A bond hearing was set for Oct. 11.
Michael Knight, a spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, has confirmed that the agency is investigating and said authorities “don’t see a connection” to recent mass shootings.
Edmisten’s arrest came a day after Stephen Paddock opened fire on a music festival from a high-rise hotel suite in Las Vegas, leaving 59 people dead and more than 500 injured. When police stormed his room, they discovered that Paddock had killed himself.