One year later: business owner still searching for answers in prosthetic clinic bombing


JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL)- It has been one year since a pipe bomb exploded in a business that provides essential services to some in the Tri-Cities region.

We brought you the breaking news that day back in July of last year.

Investigators told us a bomb destroyed Victory Orthotics and Prosthetics in Johnson City, a company that provides prosthetic limbs for people with mobility needs.

The man accused of planting the pipe bomb is Christopher Alexander, the owner of a competing prosthetics business the region.

Just recently Alexander pleaded guilty to the crime and is expected back in court this fall for sentencing.

Wednesday afternoon we visited with Victory Orthotics and Prosthetics CEO Zach Smith who said even there are no longer signs of any physical damage, they still carry around reminders of what happened last July.

Smith showed us a trench coat scorched by flames, and pictures that used to hang in the hallways.

Smith said they are all reminders of what it used to look like at the office, but the biggest reminder of the events that unfolded in July 2015 aren’t things.

He said rather it’s a place, showing us the room where the bomb went off.

It is a moment Smith said he will never forget, when police told him someone intentionally set off a pipe bomb inside his business.

Smith said what was even more shocking, is who was responsible,

“I mean I literally had to sit down, it was something like you would see on television, like hey please sit down let me tell you this horrific information,” Smith said.

Even though its back to business as usual, Smith said he’s still waiting on one last piece of closure.

“To this day I still don’t know why he did it, so in terms of anything I would like to see come out of this is why,” Smith said.

Smith said he is hoping to get closure in September when Alexander is expected to be sentenced by a judge.

Smith said he plans to speak at the sentencing hearing, telling NewsChannel 11 he doesn’t know what he will say but he will ask why.Copyright 2016 WJHL. All Rights Reserved.

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