On the heels of a long Memorial Day Weekend, the Liberty County Courthouse was back to business as usual until a call came into the office of County Judge Jay Knight around 9:45 am, claiming that there was a bomb in the courthouse scheduled to go off at approximately 10 am.
Knight did not say the call was directed at him or his office specifically, only that all calls that go unanswered in other departments roll to his office automatically.
According to the Judge, the courthouse then initiated their regular protocol for such events. They went to work to evacuate the building, and law enforcement began searching for any suspicious devices.
“I can safely say we had the entire building emptied of people in five to seven minutes,” said Knight.
Once the Sheriff’s Department was alerted, Sheriff Bobby Rader then notified the Bureau of Alcohol Tobac co, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in Beaumont to bring in search dogs and investigators to conduct the official onsite investigation of the courthouse.
Authorities gave the official all-clear just before 1 pm, and the courthouse returned to business as usual for the remainder of the day.
According to Captain Ken DeFoor, the investigation will continue by the Sheriff’s Dept. as they attempt to find out who made the threatening call.
“It certainly was an interruption. We had a lot of work to do this morning, but we are catching up now,” concluded Knight.