Casper police have arrested a suspect in a rash of bomb threats Wednesday that prompted the evacuation of a Casper state government building in the middle of a Wyoming Gaming Commission meeting.
The Thyra Thomson State Office Building at 444 W. Collins Drive was evacuated shortly before 11:30 a.m. when an email threat was made, interrupting the work of hundreds of state employees. It was one of multiple threats to state offices and employees that began at 11:08 a.m., the Casper Police Department reports.
The Thyra Thomson building was cleared by about 1:30 p.m. and people allowed back inside.
A Specific Threat
The CPD reports a bomb threat call specific to the Wyoming Department of Corrections probation and parole office located in the Thyra Thomson building.
Dispatchers at the Casper-Natrona Public Communications Center received the first of multiple threats. Amber Freestone, public information officer for the Casper Police Department, told Cowboy State Daily that threats were made to multiple agencies, but could not say how many calls or threats were made.
The Thyra Thomson building houses 12 state agencies and a chancery court.
Casper Police officers and Natrona County Sheriff’s Deputies secured a perimeter around the building while employees and visitors evacuated the building shortly before 11:30 a.m.
Law enforcement offered shelter to employees at an offsite building at about noon, but most of the staff had clearance from supervisors to go home and await further instruction, according to a CPD statement.
State Sen. President Ogden Driskill, R-Devils Tower, told Cowboy State Daily that people were told to evacuate the premises in full and were not allowed to wait inside the parking lot.
Officers and deputies with the Natrona County Sheriff’s Office remained on the scene with Casper Fire and Emergency Medical Services while bomb-detection dog Reed and Casper Police Officer David Southcott cleared the inside of the building and exterior grounds.
The building was cleared for re-entry at 1:30 p.m., according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Casper Police found and arrested a male suspect at about 1:10 p.m., the statement says, adding that police believe this is an isolated event with a single suspect and no further danger to the community.
Neither Driskill or Kyle McKay, public information officer for the Wyoming Highway Patrol, said they any recollection of a state public meeting being interrupted by a bomb threat in the past.