Businesses Evacuated After Bomb Threats In Tompkinsville
TOMPKINSVILLE, Ky. – Kentucky State Police have been searching for the person who called in several bomb threats in Monroe County, forcing several evacuations.
Among the buildings threatened were a school, an office, a store and restaurants in Tompkinsville.
The first call came in around a little before 8:30 a.m. Thursday and started a chain reaction that really shutdown the entire small town.
One of the first places to get a threat was Tompkinsville Elementary School. Officials said the students had to be evacuated away. Some were sent to a nearby National Guard armory where parents picked them up.
All Monroe County schools were shutdown as a precaution.
The local Walmart, McDonald's and Sonic all got the same call – as did the law offices of the Monroe County Attorney.
Secretary Nanette Thomas said the man who called her was very specific, saying in 15 minutes the bombs would detonate.
"When they said ‘goodbye' in the tone that they used, I thought this was for real – so I knew to take it seriously," said Thomas.
Police went building to building, checking for explosives. None were found, but each location was evacuated as a precaution, forcing people to wait hours until it was deemed safe.
KSP officials said they were working to find the suspect who made the calls. They said that person will likely face serious charges for threatening to use "weapons of mass destruction."
Despite the precautionary response, Jonathan Bivens with the Kentucky State Police said every threat is taken seriously.
"No bomb threat is a threat we're just going to let go," said Bivens. "They're all the same. No matter if they tell you it's 15 minutes, 6 hours - a threat is a threat."
Officials stressed that no bombs were found – and buildings were not reopened until being searched thoroughly.