Former TMH pharmacist found with cache of explosives, guns, drugs amid mass violence fears
Investigators suspect a Tallahassee pharmacist who was found with a large cache of firearms, ammunition, homemade explosives and body armor may have been planning an attack on law enforcement or some other act of mass violence.
William Head III, a former pharmacist at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, was arrested Sunday after citizens contacted the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office with concerns about his mental health, the number of weapons he owns and comments he made, including that “the world would end” on April 1, according to court records.
During Head’s first court appearance on Tuesday, several people expressed deep concerns about the defendant, his mental state and the possibility of violence. One man said Head showed up at a family member's home after midnight and that video showed him with a gun in his hand at the front door.
"I am terrified for (their) safety," the man told the court. "I think there has to be a mental health evaluation of this fellow. I pray he gets the help he needs. But I'm concerned this is going to be the next terrorist attack in Tallahassee."
Deputies contacted Head by phone to conduct a welfare check on him, and he agreed to a meeting Sunday night near the 13000 block of Mahan Drive in eastern Leon County. Deputies from Leon and Jefferson counties responded.
After Head arrived and got out of his car, a deputy noticed two long guns and “apparent contraband” in plain view inside his vehicle. Head was under an active domestic violence injunction and barred from having any weapons or ammo.
A search of his car turned up ten handguns and 15 rifles of various makes and models, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, multiple weapon magazines, both loaded and unloaded, two bulletproof vests, explosive materials, a straw with white powdery residue and a variety of prescription pills, including Adderall.
Deputies read him his rights several times, but he said he didn’t understand them.
“William advised he did not drive his vehicle to the scene and that we should, in essence, figure out who did,” a deputy said in his report.
Head, 36, was arrested on charges of violating the domestic violence injunction, possession of explosives, possession of a bulletproof vest while committing other offenses, concealed carry of a firearm without a license and possession of a controlled substance. He was booked into the Leon County Detention Center, where he is being held without bond.
According to court records, concerned citizens filed sworn statements about Head’s recent “disturbing behavior,” including delusional thoughts, incoherent statements and stalking behavior. He also allegedly made threatening comments directed at law enforcement.
Investigators learned that Head, who has a home in Monticello, was staying at the Casa Bella Inn & Suites on Apalachee Parkway, where he’d paid to stay for the entire month. Deputies say they found suspected methamphetamine and more pills in his hotel room — but even more disturbing items at his house on East Bluebird Road in Jefferson County.
Inside his residence, deputies allegedly found 10 to 15 bags of binary explosives, so-named because they consist of two ingredients that aren’t dangerous until combined together, and two containers of mixed binary explosives.
“Based on the deterioration of Head’s mental health, the statements made to deputies that he has ‘something set’ for them, the mixed binary explosives found with 25 firearms, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and body armor, your affiant believes Head is planning or has planned to use these items in an incident that would cause harm to the citizens of Leon County,” the arrest report says.
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Leon County Judge Jason Jones ordered Head held without bond during his first appearance. Assistant State Attorney Doug Hall filed a motion for pretrial detention, writing that Head poses a “threat of harm” and that no conditions of release would reasonably protect the community.
Hall told the Democrat that he filed the motion because of concerns investigators and others had about the possibility of mass violence. He added it was unclear whether Head may have been targeting a specific person or place.
“There’s an individual with a lot of weapons, lots of ammunition, binary explosives, a bulletproof vest, controlled substances and the description of prior concerns of violence,” Hall said. “You add that up together and it just does raise concerns for safety.”
Head was issued his pharmacist license in 2011 and has no disciplinary history on file, according to Florida Department of Health records. TMH was listed as his address of record.
A TMH spokeswoman said Head hasn't worked at the hospital since Dec. 1, but declined to provide more information, including his start date, citing hospital practice not to comment on employment matters.
Contact Jeff Burlew at email@example.com and follow @JeffBurlew on Twitter.
This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Tallahassee hospital pharmacist found with explosives, guns