Bomb threat at Newton Gresham Library forces evacuation

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A written bomb threat led to a half hour evacuation at the Newton Gresham Library today. Library officials are describing the incident as a prank to get out of taking finals.

University staff put up barriers leading into the Newton Gresham Library.
University staff puts up barriers leading into the Newton Gresham Library.

All students and faculty were evacuated immediately around 2:45 p.m. while Sam Houston State University Police Department closed off the perimeter and searched the building.

UPD Lt. Chris Standerfer responded to the threat and said that proper precautions were made so that everyone was safe.

“We needed to make sure that everyone’s safety was number one. We shut the building down and did a floor-to-floor search, looking for anything suspicious or out of the ordinary,” he said. “Once the initial one was done, we went back and did a secondary search to make sure we didn’t miss anything.”

Lieutenant Chris Standerfer gives the library employees the all clear after Tuesday's bomb threat.
Lieutenant Chris Standerfer gives the library employees the all clear after Tuesday’s bomb threat.At 3:15 p.m., UPD determined it was safe and library employees were allowed back inside. Shortly after, around 3:20 p.m., students were granted access inside as well.

Ann Holder, director for library services, predicted that the threat was no more than a prank or  a joke.

“It’s what anybody would think when something like this goes on,” Holder said. “Someone simply wants to see what’s going to happen when you evacuate the building during exams.”

Students were interrupted by a voice on the intercom requesting their evacuation, but were not given any further information until a KatSafe notification was sent out.

“I had no clue what was going on until I got the KatSafe notification about five minutes after they told us to get out of the library,” junior criminal justice major Evan Landry said.

The library is cleared for entrance, but UPD requests to report any suspicious items found.