30 June 2022
Several law enforcement agencies throughout North Carolina and the FBI are investigating a series of bomb threats to North Carolina community colleges.
On Thursday, the FBI issued a statement:
“The FBI is aware of bomb threats made to multiple community colleges in North Carolina and are prepared to assist local law enforcement agencies as appropriate,” the statement read. “The FBI takes all threats seriously and would like to remind the public if you see anything suspicious or have information about potential threats to notify local law enforcement immediately.”
On Thursday, several bomb threats were reported at community colleges throughout North Carolina, including Durham Technical Community College, Edgecombe Community College, Johnston Community College, Lenoir Community College, Martin Community College, Vance-Granville Community College and Wayne Community College.
“This is a situation of a bad actor or actors — we don’t know. We are taking it very seriously. We can’t afford not to. It’s been fortunate that no devices or anything has been found in any of our campuses but we don’t know at this point. It’s still early in the investigation,” said Thomas Smith, the president of North Carolina Community Colleges.
Law enforcement have not said if the threats are connected. The majority of schools have returned to normal operations.
All clear given after Durham Tech gets evacuated
Around 3 p.m. Thursday, Durham police gave an all clear after investigating a reported bomb threat at Durham Technical Community College.
Durham Tech leaders said police swept the campus and did not find anything suspicious. Leaders said 550 students were on campus at the time, and were evacuated. On Thursday, Aislinn Martinez Lopez was among the students on campus for orientation. She spoke to WRAL News about what happened.
“I wouldn’t have expected this from them,” Lopez said. “It seemed like it was pretty safe. I don’t know what to think. It’s pretty mind-blowing.”
Around 11 a.m. Thursday, Durham Tech was ordered to shelter-in-place after a bomb threat was made toward the main campus on Lawson Street, according to school officials.
“I’m very young, so I was kind of scared,” Lopez said. “They were kind of panicking, the parents, because they didn’t know, like, what if it was an actual bomb?”
The Durham Police Department, along with other law enforcement officers, responded to the threat
Lawson Street at Briggs Avenue in Durham was closed to the public for several hours, along with the college campus. At around noon Thursday, all buildings on the main campus of the building were evacuated as police investigated the bomb threat.
School leaders said at the time that “students and employees on main campus should exit immediately.” Also, school leaders said the main campus would remain closed for the remainder of Thursday.
Bomb threat reported at Edgecombe Community College
Leaders with Edgecombe Community College confirm the school’s Rocky Mount campus has been evacuated on Thursday afternoon while Rocky Mount police investigate a reported bomb threat.
School leaders said it appears there were reports of bomb threats received on Thursday by several community colleges simultaneously.
Edgecombe County Community College’s Rocky Mount campus will remain closed for the remainder of Thursday, school leaders said.
Johnston Community College also receives bomb threat
Leaders with Johnston County Community College also said it received a bomb threat on Thursday to the Wilson Building, the first main building on the campus.
The building was evacuated and authorities did not find anything, school leaders said.
The Johnston County Community College remains open.
Lenoir Community College receives threat
A spokesperson with the school confirmed Lenoir Community College had a bomb threat on Thursday. The building was cleared and normal operation resumed after authorities investigated.
Lenoir Community College closed its library, which was the building targeted in the threat, school leaders said.
Martin County Sheriff’s Office investigates bomb threat at Martin Community College
Martin Community College received a bomb threat around 12:58 p.m. Thursday, according to the Martin County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities evacuated the campus and law enforcement searched the campus.
The sheriff’s office cleared he buildings and the college resumed its operations, according to the sheriff’s office.
Vance-Granville Community College receives bomb threat
School leaders said Vance-Granville Community College received a bomb threat Thursday, but authorities have given the all clear.
The school was evacuated as deputies investigated, school leaders said.