Bomb threat sparks high school shutdown

SOUTHINGTON OBSERVER

Southington High School students were sent home early last Monday when a bomb threat posted on a social media website came to the attention of law enforcement officials. A suspicious package was found, but turned out not to be a threat, said police. In the end, no bombs were found.

Police said that on Monday, around 1:35 p.m., officers received a complaint about a bomb threat. The complainant  told officers that he was reading through the “Yik Yak” application on his cell phone and observed that an unknown / unidentified person posted, “Im going to set off b ombs today and half of tomorrow at shs!” (sic).

Police said, according to the screen shot of the message, the message was posted at approximately 8:30 a.m. on Monday

Police said the social media app is anonymous and does not require or display any user names or identifying information for the people who post messages.

Yik Yak describes the app as giving a user the ability to “Send and receive anonymous messages based on your location. No sign in, no profile, just chat with anyone around you.”

The school resource officer at SHS was advised of the threat, said SHS police. Officers and the Southington Fire Department then responded to the scene, said police.

The school’s principal, Dr. Martin Semmel, subsequently dismissed school and ordered all students and personnel to leave the building, said police.

Police said officers teamed up with members of the school administration and all conducted a cursory search of the school. During the search, a suspicious bag was located in the Agricultural Science building in room A106. The building then was evacuated and the exterior doors were locked.

Police said the Hartford Bomb Squad arrived at SHS at 4 p.m. Southington police took the bomb squad to the Agricultural Science building where they could inspect the suspicious item.

Police said the bag contained only clothing.

In addition to the bomb squad, police said a K-9 Bomb Squad Personnel from East Hartford and the State Police were dispatched to Southington. All agencies along with Hartford Bomb Squad conducted a search of the common access areas within SHS.

No explosives were located during the search, police said.

According to police, Semmel stated that custodial personnel were going to remain at the SHS throughout the night from Monday till Tuesday morning. The half day scheduled for Tuesday was not cancelled.

All law enforcement agencies were cleared from SHS at 5:10 p.m. on Monday.

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