Looking for Revenge, Prosecutors Say, Bomber Killed Wrong Person

By Victoria Merlino

An alleged bomber who killed a landlord with a homemade explosive device at a home on 222nd Street in Brookville is facing new charges.

Victor Kingsley, 37, was indicted Wednesday in Federal Court for the Eastern District of New York on another charge of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction after investigators uncovered an improvised explosive device when they arrested him in his Brooklyn home in February.

Kingsley was previously charged for using a weapon of mass destruction that killed the Brookville landlord in July 2017. Kingsley will be arraigned at a later date in federal court in Brooklyn.

Prosecutors say Kingsley built the bomb and set it outside the 222nd Street home because he wanted revenge against several officers who were part of a NYPD unit that arrested him for allegedly carrying a stun gun in January 2014.

Those charges were eventually dismissed, but Kingsley allegedly harbored a grudge. He allegedly arranged to have the explosive device place outside the Brookville residence, which he thought was the home of at least one NYPD officer.

“Kingsley’s cowardly act was meant to target a New York City Police Officer for doing his job and resulted in the tragic death of an unintended victim,” said NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill.

The building owner, George Wray, accidentally detonated the bomb when he tried to open the box. He died after suffering second-degree burns over 80 percent of his body, The New York Times reported.

The bomb that killed Wray contained a nine-volt battery, battery case holder, initiator and a clothespin with screws in it, according to the criminal complaint. The explosive was packed in a foot-long mailing tube and filled with flash powder and a home-made, low-grade explosive with aluminum powder and potassium chlorate.

“There is no place in civil society for the spreading of fear through intimidation, violence and destruction,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney.  “I commend the work of the joint FBI-NYPD investigative team for its determination and complete collaboration in bringing this accused criminal to justice.”

The joint team includes the FBI, NYPD and Queens County District Attorney’s office.

After the detonation, Kingsley allegedly used Amazon to buy more bomb-making materials to build another weapon. When he was arrested in February, law enforcement allegedly found another bomb inside a mailing tube identical to the one used for the other device.

If convicted on all counts, Kingsley faces a maximum sentence of life in prison or death.

Alleged bomber Victor Kingsley was charged with an additional count of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction in Eastern District federal court Wednesday.

Eagle file photo by Rob Abruzzese