Central Campus evacuated

Bomb threat sends police into action

Kim Fundingsland/MDN Minot police cordoned off Central Campus in downtown Minot shortly after noon Wednesday due to a bomb threat. All students were evacuated.

It was both an unusual sight and a very anxious time at a Minot school yesterday.

Minot police, some with rifles at the ready, surrounded Central Campus in downtown Minot Wednesday in response to a bomb threat received at 12:11 p.m. Numerous yellow buses were seen arriving at the school while police had cordoned off the building.

Many students were moved to nearby churches as a safety precaution prior to being bussed to the City Auditorium where anxious parents were instructed to pick them up.

Few details are known about how the bomb threat was received or who was responsible for it, but it was evident the threat was being taken seriously. Central Campus remained virtually empty while the Police Department Bomb Squad and two K-9 units dispatched from the Minot Air Force Base, searched the building.

Nervous parents on the streets surrounding Central Campus during the first few minutes of the incident, some showing the seriousness of the event on their faces, feared that the school was in the midst of an active shooter situation.

According to at least three parents at the scene, threats of a possible shooting at the school reportedly were on social media as early as this past Monday. It was learned by Minot Daily News that at least one family elected to keep their child at home Wednesday rather than have him go to school, and that the school acknowledged they were aware of the threat and had arranged to have an extra police officer assigned to Central Campus.

Police would only confirm that Wednesday’s incident concerned a bomb threat. Lt. Steve Whitesell, Minot Police, said there was a report earlier in the week that a ” kid had made a threat to another kid” but investigation revealed that “nothing was really substantiated.” Police said they didn’t know if the earlier threat allegation and the bomb threat were related.

The search of Central Campus ended at 3:55 p.m.

“They finished up and nothing was found,” said Whitesell.

Police say they will continue to investigate the event in an effort to determine who was responsible for the bomb threat.