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Bomb threat closes Scott courthouse, puts schools on lockdown

Timesnews.net staff • Nov 14, 2007 at 12:00 AM

After a bomb threat early Wednesday, Virginia State Police Trooper J.D.Anderson of Russell County searches the Scott County Courthouse in Gate City with Billy, a bomb-sniffing dog.


GATE CITY — A bomb threat made to the Scott County Courthouse Wednesday morning closed government offices for the day and put three schools on a cautionary lockdown.

A Virginia State Police dog went through the building but did not find any explosives.

Shoemaker Elementary School, Gate City Middle School and Gate City High School were not part of the threat but were placed on lockdown by school officials as a precautionary measure, said Scott County Schools Secondary Supervisor Mike Brickey.

The threat was made to a circuit court clerk at 9:16 a.m., said Gate City Police Chief Jason Cox. The call was made anonymously. The number was traced to a pay phone at a business near the state line.

Immediately after the call, the courthouse was evacuated, Cox said. There were appeals being heard Wednesday in Scott County Circuit Court and child support cases scheduled in Scott County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, Cox said.

Gate City police, Scott County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Virginia State Police officers conducted the investigation, with VSP Trooper J.D. Anderson from Russell County bringing a bomb-sniffing dog, Billy, to the courthouse.

The streets around the courthouse were emptied of vehicles and closed to traffic, Cox said. The Gate City Fire Department was also called to the scene.

The courthouse was closed for the rest of the day but should reopen today, Cox said.

Cox said police have a possible suspect in the case. Cox said a review of surveillance tapes from the business may be helpful.

The court cases set for Wednesday were rescheduled for Dec. 12.

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