Worland High School Evacuated After Student Allegedly Makes Bomb Threat
A teen will face charges after allegedly threatening up to blow up Worland High School on Thursday.
The juvenile's name has not been released. Following Thursday's incident, he was released to the custody of his father per the recommendation of the Washakie County Attorney, according to a news release from the Washakie County Sheriff's Office and Worland Police Department.
No one was injured and no property was damaged as a result of the threat.
The teen allegedly wrote a bomb threat in a school bathroom. The threat reportedly read, "I will blow up the school at 3:30 2-2-17."
School officials told the school resource officer about the threat, and that officer forwarded the threat to the Washakie County Law Enforcement Center.
The school was immediately evacuated.
Sheriff's deputies and police officers arrived at the school shortly after 3 p.m. to assist in the evacuation and secure the area.
Fire and EMS staged at the school administration building at about 3:15 p.m. and helped shut down streets to keep traffic out of the high school perimeter.
Authorities then established a perimeter around the high school and middle school, according to the news release.
Bomb techs from the Natrona County Sheriff's Office and a bomb-sniffing dog from the Sublette County Sheriff's Office were brought in by Washakie County Homeland Security.
While the bomb techs were en route, officers searched and moved buses to the middle school so area sports teams could leave Worland.
Authorities also evacuated Worland's swimming pool, Seventh Day Adventist Church School, preschool, National Guard Armory and bus barn.
Worland Health Care and Rehab was placed on lockdown.
Officers searched and cleared the middle school. Security was then placed in the building and held for the bomb techs and K-9 unit.
Law enforcement and high school officials then went over camera footage of people who had gone into the bathroom where the threat was written. Several suspects were identified, according to the news release, and officers interviewed them.
Bomb techs and the K-9 unit arrived at the school shortly after 8 p.m.
At about that time, officers learned that a student had confessed to making the threat. Bomb techs and the dog then searched the high school.
The dog did alert in one area. That area was rigorously searched and nothing related to explosives was found.
Authorities say other areas in common with the student who allegedly wrote the threat were searched as well, and again nothing was found.
It was determined that no threat was imminent and no device existed.
Law enforcement then searched the suspect's Worland home and seized some related evidence. However, no items were found or detected by the bomb-sniffing dog to suggest explosives were ever present.
Charges were forwarded to the Washakie County Attorney for prosecution. Parts of the case remain under investigation.
Responding agencies included the Washakie County Sheriff's Office, Worland Police Department, Worland Fire Department, Worland Ambulance, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Wyoming Highway Patrol, Washakie County Search and Rescue, Washakie County Office of Homeland Security, Natrona County Sheriff's Office and Sublette County Sheriff's Office.
Washakie County Sheriff Steven R. Rakness and Worland Chief of Police Gabe R. Elliott extended their thanks to folks who called in to offer assistance and others who delivered food and water to feed first responders throughout the incident.