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HKY Police

Hickory Police investigate bomb threat

On Sunday, May 7, 2023 at approximately 3:00 p.m., Hickory Police Officers responded to the Market Place Church, 2936 Hwy 127 S in reference to two pipe bomb type devices that had been delivered to the church by Joshua Wayne Hawley (37 years old). Hawley fled the area prior to officers arriving. Upon arrival, officers evacuated the immediate area and the assistance of the F.B.I., Gaston County Police Bomb Squad and the Gastonia Police Bomb Squad was requested. The devices were rendered safe by the bomb squads and evidence was collected.  

During the investigation, it was determined that Hawley was located at a residence in Burke County. Law Enforcement Officers from the Burke County Sheriff’s Office, Morganton Department of Public Safety, Gaston County Police Bomb Squad, Gastonia Police Bomb Squad, A.T.F. and F.B.I. assisted with serving a search warrant and arrest warrant at 5795 Kaylas Ridge Rd in Connelly Springs, N.C. on Monday, May 8th.  Joshua Hawley was taken into custody at the residence and has been charged with Possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction with possible additional charges pending.

Anyone with information regarding this on-going investigation is encouraged to call the Hickory Police Department at 828-328-5551 or contact R. Helderman directly at 828-261-2621 or