Two Westsyde schools evacuated after ‘suspicious messaging’ found

UPDATE: School officials have been given the all-clear in Westsyde after unfounded bomb threats written in graffiti were discovered on David Thompson elementary and Westsyde secondary.

The words "find the bomb" were found on the exterior of David Thompson elementary on Friday at about 11:30 a.m. and school staff called in the Kamloops RCMP for a possible bomb threat.

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The elementary school was evacuated and due to the close proximity, and out of an abundance of caution, Westsyde secondary and a few nearby homes were also evacuated, RCMP Sgt. Brandon Buliziuk said.

Kamloops RCMP with a search dog and school staff did a sweep of the building and "no foreign objects or devices" were located inside or outside the elementary school.

Police cleared the scene by about 2 p.m. and the public informed they could return to their homes.

Given the small amount of students in attendance due to COVID-19, and the time of day police left the scene, classes did not resume.

Buliziuk told KTW only David Thompson was searched, but police learned after the fact today that similar graffiti was also written, within the last three days, on Westsyde secondary, which had apparently been discussed by school staff a couple days ago and not initially reported to RCMP.

An investigation into the threats is ongoing, Buliziuksaid.

"These responses are taken very seriously and often require a rapid displacementof people from an area," Buliziuk said. "We are fortunate this incident was false in the end."

Threats involving graffiti tags were found on a number of area schools back in September.

 

 

Editor's note: This story was corrected from an earlier version that incorrectly stated both schools were searched.

 

Original:

Two Westsyde schools were evacuated Friday afternoon after threatening messages were found.

David Thompson elementary and Westsyde secondary have both been evacuated, according to RCMP Sgt. Sgt Brandon Buliziuk.

Police responded to David Thompsonin in the 1000-block of Pine Springs Road in response to a report of “suspicious messaging written on the school,” according to Buliziuk.

“Perimeters have been established by RCMP who are holding people a safe distance from the school,” Buliziuk said in a press relase. “Multiple police personnel are present in the area and tactical evacuations of some residences are also underway.”

Police intend to update the situation as it progresses, but there is no one available to comment to the media further at this time.

Last September there was a string of incidents involving bomb threats made to Kamloops schools, many of which involved spray-painted messages on the exterior of schools.

© Kamloops This Week

 


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