Falls City Explosion May Have Targeted Police Chief

People just aren’t aware that it is actually happening

- Fischer

FALLS CITY –  Deputy Richardson County Attorney Samantha Scheitel has obtained an arrest warrant for a Falls City woman who is suspected of involvement in an explosion at a Falls City business and a plot to terrorize the city’s police chief.

The warrant calls for the immediate arrest of 39-year-old April Feighner, who is suspected of setting off a home-made explosive, which is described as the equivalent of a stick of dynamite.

According to the affidavit Scheitel offered to the court, Feighner told an inmate at the Richardson County Detention Center that the “Spirit Shoppe incident was done because Falls City Police Chief (Duane) Armbruster harasses people.”

The chief’s stepfather owns the business and members of  his family are known to work there.

As details of the investigation come to light in Falls City, residents are not expressing surprise, but concern.

Shannon Roberts: “It’s very scary for our community to know that they had planned it. They had planned it quite a ways back. They had even talked about putting it on his vehicles. I mean, it’s scary for everybody’s safety, especially, you know, Armbruster and his family.”

Rita Fischer said the narrative reminds her of why the Taking Back Our Community was activated.

Fischer: “We need to work as a whole to keep everybody safe and make people aware of things like this so that it is not repeat offenders doing the same thing.”

The state fire marshal’s office investigation led authorities, including the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives,  to the county jail, where 43-year-old Travis Kirkendall and 33-year-old Jeremy Vice are in custody.

The investigation unfolded a narrative that includes an apparent plan to use the explosive on a vehicle at the police chief’s Falls City residence. That plan was switched to what investigators believe was an intention to blow up the ice machine at the Spirit Shoppe.

The explosion shoved the ice machine over, broke a window in the building, moved shelving inside and toppled merchandise.

Falls City residents said the Sept. 18 explosion could be heard all across town. The sound was followed by an electrical black out across the city, but city officials say the events are unrelated.

Police say there was a report of a June 19 explosion near Kirkendall’s Harlan street residence and residents also suspect a bomb was used to explode a vehicle on a bridge south of town.

Inmates told investigators that more, even bigger, explosive devices are available to Kirkendall.

Roberts: “This is something that we’ve been worried about, that, you know, him being in and out on several bonds. This time, maybe he won’t get out.”

Fischer said Taking Back Our Community is really not about any individual, but there is extra concern because the targets for the explosives appear to be chosen from within the jail.

Fishcher: “We can’t have stuff like this happening and, like I said, people just aren’t aware that it is actually happening in a small community.”

Feighner reportedly told investigators that Kirkendall did have an explosive about 12 inches long at the Harlan Street residence they shared, but, after his arrest, she threw it into the Missouri River.

Court records said Feighner met with Kirkendall and Vice after the explosion and was called their “little firecracker.”