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Pepper-ball bomber has long criminal record

Christopher Murray Christopher Murray

Hendersonville police detectives charged a convicted felon with setting off a pepper spray device that released white powder at a package delivery store on Friday.

Christopher Michael Murray, 37, of Hendersonville, was charged with felony perpetrating a hoax and jailed on a $10,000 bond on Friday night.
A regular resident of the Henderson and Buncombe county jails and state prisons since 1999, Murray has been convicted of arson, felony breaking and entering, larceny, carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of marijuana, habitual misdemeanor assault, violating a protective order, DWI and driving while license revoked. He served six separate prison sentences starting with a one-month stint for DWI in 2003. His last prison sentence was from November 2015 to Aug. 11, 2016, after he was convicted of manufacturing marijuana.
Investigators immediately began searching for the men after the UPS store incident, which triggered a robust response from fire departments and police. First responders racing to the scene included Hendersonville and Asheville firefighters, two Asheville-based hazardous materials units and crew, sheriff’s deputies and city police. Explosives experts identified the powder as a product of a “pepper ball self-defense device,” the city said in a news release Friday night.
Surveillance video showed Murray wearing a hooded parka, on a day when temperatures reached 80 degrees, and another man in a long-sleeved white dress shirt in the store. Officers later located and identified the second man. As of Monday morning, he had not been charged, city spokeswoman Allison Nock said.
Police cordoned off the entire parking lot in front of the UPS store and seven other retailers. The delivery store is flanked by Wild Birds Unlimited and Jimmy John’s subway sandwich shop.