Former Neighbors Speak Out About Man Found With Explosives

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Residents in the former neighborhood of Trey Scott Atwater are speaking out. Atwater was arrested on Saturday after trying to bring explosives onto a plane at the Midland airport.

For neighbors in this quiet part of Midland, it's hard to believe they know the person that's making national headlines.

"Trey was just the good kid growing up down the street," former neighbor Bruce Moore said. "He's four years older than my youngest. She looked up to him, he was the big kid down the street."

On Saturday, 30-year-old Trey Scott Atwater was arrested at the Midland airport. He was headed back to North Carolina but he was stopped at the security checkpoint when TSA agents noticed something suspicious.

In his carry-on, they found explosives in military grade wrapping.

As police swarmed the airport, neighbors said they also swept through the home of Atwater's mother. That's who he was visiting.

"I had just seen three police cars down the street and a crime investigator bus in their driveway," neighbor, Jodi Redmon, said. "Police were going in and out of their house and they were probably there for about a couple of hours."

NewsWest 9 tried talking with the family at the home but no answer.

Neighbors NewsWest 9 spoke with said Atwater was a star football player at Midland Lee. He graduated in 1999.

"We were proud of him for joining the military when he got out of high school and representing his country so we never had any problems with him," Moore said. "As far as we were concerned, he was just a good kid."

They were shocked to find out what happened.

"That's pretty scary," Redmon said. "Even if he was in the military and he had explosives not for the purpose of blowing up a plane, I mean you don't take that stuff with you on the plane."

The residents who knew him only had good things to say about him and now they're hoping more answers will come out soon.

"Total surprise," Moore said. "We're hoping it was just a huge mistake. It's a big mistake, I'm sure but we're hoping that's all it was."

NBC affiliate WNCN, in Raleigh, North Carolina went to the home where Trey Atwater lives.

There's a sign hanging from the door that says Trey Atwater, U.S. Army. Neighbors are also telling WNCN that Atwater is a Green Beret and had just come back from serving in Afghanistan the first part of November.

Atwater will arraigned on Tuesday in federal court and NewsWest 9 will be there to bring you the latest.