MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Police say someone placed what was designed to look like a pipe bomb underneath a chair in a common area at Hennepin Technical College’s Brooklyn Park campus.
The device was discovered just after 11 a.m. Thursday – The Minneapolis Police Bomb Squad and Brooklyn Park Police responded. The schoool was evacuated, classes cancelled and traffic shut down on the 9000 block of Brooklyn Boulevard in front of the building. Responding officers ultimately declared the scene safe.
Investigators say it will take some time to determine whether or not the device was a bomb, but deputy Brooklyn Park Police Chief Mark Bruley says it’s clear that the device was made to look like a bomb.
An automated email was mistakenly sent to students alerting students to an “active shooter”. The automated messaged was sent out at 11:30 a.m., advising students to run, hide or fight the shooter. It also cautioned students not on campus to stay away.
However, Hennepin County dispatch officials say school personnel mistakenly sent out the active shooter alert. The college and police later confirmed that there was no active shooter. However, it did cite a safety concern and canceled classes at the Brooklyn Park campus for the rest of Thursday.
“Our top priority is the safety of our students, our faculty, and our staff,” said Merrill Irving Jr., president of Hennepin Technical College. “We are working with law enforcement and will provide updates though the media as they are available. Out of respect for the investigation, we ask that all questions about the incident be directed to Brooklyn Park Police.”
The college says the incident does not affect the Eden Prairie campus of Hennepin Technical College or its class schedule.