Bomb threats called into school, courthouse

Published 4:22 pm Friday, February 10, 2017

By John Surratt & Alana Norris

The Vicksburg Post

Two bomb threats — one to Vicksburg High School and another to District Attorney Ricky Smith’s office — forced authorities to evacuate the school and the Warren County Courthouse Friday afternoon.

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The threat at the high school was received by dispatchers at the Vicksburg Warren E911 Communications Center about 1:55 p.m., dispatchers received the threat to the district attorney’s office about three minutes later. Vicksburg Police Chief Walter Armstrong said dispatchers relayed the respective calls to the high school and Smith’s office.

Both areas were cleared about 40 minutes later.

“We did a safety check of the courthouse after we had an anonymous call of a threat,” Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace said as the courthouse reopened. “We did a thorough check. Every thing is fine, and the courthouse is back in business.”

Vicksburg Warren School District spokesperson Christy Kilroy said students returned to class after the school was declared clear.

“This is the same stuff we’ve been dealing with over and over,” Armstrong said. “We hope someone with any information or knowledge about this will help lead us to the person doing this by either calling the Vicksburg Police Department, Warren County Sheriff’s Office or Crime Stoppers.

“This type of thing interrupts the day-to-day operations of the school, where children should be inside learning, and the operations of the DA’s office. The loss of 30 minute is a serious disruption to any business’ operation.”

The dual bomb threats were similar an incident that occurred almost a year ago on Feb. 17, 2016, when someone called 911 saying they had dropped off a bomb at Vicksburg High and the Vicksburg Post office.

Armstrong could not say if the new bomb threat came from the same caller.

“It’s possible, but anyone could have done it,” he said. “There are a lot of copy cats. Someone will hear about something like this and then they’ll go and do it.”

Armstrong police will continue their investigation into the 2016 threat and Friday’s, adding, “We will find the individual who did it, and when we do we’re going to prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law and make an example out of him.”