Sandy Hook Elementary School Evacuated After Reported Bomb Threat on Shooting Anniversary

Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, was evacuated Friday morning while police officers investigated a possible bomb threat.

Police told WFSB-TV that there was an unspecified threat to the school, which was not related to the threats that had recently circulated nationwide through email. The school was dismissed for the day following the evacuation, reported WFSB.

Police told WSFB that the threat was made around 9 a.m. and was deemed not credible. But given the school's history with violent tragedy and the timing of the threat, officers decided to evacuate the school out of an abundance of caution. Fox 61 said police told the station it was a bomb threat.

sandy hook elementary school evacuated anniversary
A sign stands near the site of the December 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting on the day of the National School Walkout on March 14 in Newtown, Connecticut. On Friday, the anniversary of the shooting, Sandy Hook Elementary School was evacuated after a bomb threat. John Moore/Getty Images

Friday marked the six-year anniversary of one of the worst mass shootings in United States history. On December 14, 2012, 20 children and six adults were fatally shot at the elementary school before suspect Adam Lanza took his own life.

"Please stand with our community as we attempt to survive another tragic anniversary," Newtown Action, a grassroots group formed after the tragedy wrote on Twitter.

Superintendent of Schools Lorrie Rodrigue sent a message to parents following the incident that told them not to pick up their children at the school because it could interfere with the police investigation, according to the Newtown Bee. Students were transported home by bus, and staff members were instructed to not let students off the bus unless they were greeted by a parent or guardian.

"We are confident that everyone is going to be safe, but we always have to investigate every threat," Lieutenant Aaron Bahamonde told the Hartford Courant.

First Selectman Daniel Rosenthal explained that the threat had been phoned in. He praised both law enforcement and Rodrigue for how the situation was handled, including sending the students home.

"There is no shortage of crazy, cruel people in the world, unfortunately," Rosenthal, who went to the scene to meet with Rodrigue, said.

Following the announcement of the threat, Senator Chris Murphy wrote on Twitter that his heart was breaking. In light of the anniversary of the tragedy that was felt across the nation, Murphy asked people to do something kind, generous and unplanned. He explained that if that action was repeated daily, it would brighten their perspective on the world.

"Sad for the searing loss, that hurts like hell every Dec 14th for those parents, my friends," Murphy wrote. "And sad that I sent my youngest off to 1st grade this morning, and that I work with people who care more about politics than making sure he comes home safe."

Around 3:00 p.m. EST, Rodrigue explained that a call was placed to the school's main office, saying that a bomb was placed in the school. The school immediately contacted the police and bomb threat protocol was implemented.

JUST IN: Statement from #Newtown superintendent on bomb threat at #SandyHook Elem today

— John Craven (@johncraven1) December 14, 2018

The school was evacuated and officers, with the assistance of K-9 units from the National Guard, performed a sweep of the premise. No explosive material was found but police will continue to investigate the source of the threat.

"Despite the difficulty of the day, staff, administrators, and community members handled this incident calmly, professionally, and with students' best interests at heart," Rodrigue said. "I applaud the courage and strength that was so visible throughout the day."

Following the shooting, the original building was knocked down and a new school was built in its place, which opened in the fall of 2016.