Sandy Hook Elementary School Evacuated for Bomb Threat on Sixth Anniversary of Shooting

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

Police told CBS affiliate WFSB that there was an unspecified threat to the school and that the school was dismissed for the day following the evacuation. Fox 61 reports that police said that it was a bomb threat. The threat came on the six-year anniversary of the shooting that killed 20 children and six adults at the school in 2012.

The threat was made around 9 a.m., police say, and eventually deemed not credible. However, given the timing of the threat and the school's history, officers decided to evacuate out of an abundance of caution.

On Dec. 14, 2012, 20 first-graders and six teachers were killed at Sandy Hook by gunman Adam Lanza, who shot and killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, before going to the school and opening fire. He shot and killed himself as police entered.

"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 telling them not to pick up their children at the school because it would interfere with the police investigation, the Newtown Bee reports. Students were transported home by bus, with staff members instructed not to 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 praised law enforcement and Rodrigue for their response to the situation, including sending the students hom.e

"There is no shortage of crazy, cruel people in the world, unfortunately," Rosenthal said.

Sen. Chris Murphy wrote on Twitter following the announcement of the threat that his "heart is breaking."

Earlier in the day, he had asked people to "do something kind, generous and unplanned at some point during the day. Then do it again tomorrow. And the next day. Make it a habit, and watch your perspective on the world brighten."

"Sad for the searing loss, that hurts like hell every Dec 14th for those parents, my friends," Murphy wrote about the 2012 shooting at the start of the day. "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."

"6 years later and nothing can bring them back," he tweeted later. "6 years later and still silence from a Congress of cowards. 6 years later and our movement is finally more powerful than the gun lobby. 6 years later and nothing can stop us."

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

Friday's threat came a day after police departments across the country and in Canada were alerted to bomb threats sent to businesses, hospitals and other places. The reported threats were either emailed or phoned in, authorities in both countries said. The Sandy Hook bomb threat was unrelated to Thursday's threats.


Also on Friday, the Detroit Police Department said that it was investigating multiple threats targeting two courthouses in the city and three hospitals.

"At this time it is believed that these threats were received by phone," the department said in a series of tweets, later adding that the department's bomb squad investigated four of the locations and did not find any explosive devices.