UPDATED: Responders grapple with more phony bomb threats


WJPD says it’s investigating possible suspect

By Adam Orr - aorr@jeffersonpost.com



WEST JEFFERSON-More hoax bomb threats had emergency responders scrambling in the early morning hours Monday.

That’s according to Ashe County Emergency Management Coordinator Patty Gambill and West Jefferson Chief of Police Jeff Rose.

Both said at least one bomb threat was called in to Walmart in West Jefferson sometime after midnight on Aug. 7, followed by a second call later the same morning indicating a bomb had been placed somewhere within the rappelling tower at Ashe County High School.

Responders, including the WJPD, West Jefferson Fire Department, Jefferson Police Department, Ashe County Fire Marshal Bob Davis and the Ashe County Rescue Squad found no explosive devices.

How it happened:

According to a statement issued by the WJPD, the department was dispatched to a smoke investigation in a lot next to Greenfield Campground.

“Upon arrival officers discovered a working fire in an uninhabited camper and requested West Jefferson Fire Department to respond,” according to the statement. “The fire was quickly extinguished. During the fire, Officers received another call regarding a bomb threat on the Ashe County High School property in the vicinity of the first responders. That scene was searched and secured with no devices found. A second bomb threat was then called into Walmart stating another bomb was in the store. The store was evacuated and searched and deemed safe to re-enter.”

The statement said the WJPD does have a possible suspect and is continuing its investigation.

Monday morning’s incident was the second wave of phony local bomb threats in the past six days. Responders dealt with the first two calls shortly before midnight on Aug. 1, when a caller said in quick succession that two explosive devices had been placed inside Walmart.

Both a cashier and the store manager said the caller had a deep voice, and “spoke in a methodical manner.” No evidence of any device was found during a subsequent search.

Reach Adam Orr at 336-846-7164.

WJPD says it’s investigating possible suspect

By Adam Orr

aorr@jeffersonpost.com

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