A Wyoming Gaming Commission meeting at the Thyra Thomson State Office Building in Casper was progressing relatively smoothly Wednesday morning until a staff member interrupted Gaming Commissioner Charles Moore to announce an email bomb threat had come through and the building was being evacuated.
“Uhh, everybody on Zoom, we have been told we have to evacuate the meeting. There’s been a bomb threat in this building,” Moore said before the video quickly cut out.
The meeting was being held in state government office building at 444 W. Collins Drive in Casper. The 127,000-square-foot facility opened last year and is named after a former Wyoming secretary of state.
An all-clear was given at about 1:30 p.m. and people were let back inside.
Amber Freestone, public information officer for the Casper Police Department, was at the scene when reached shortly after the meeting was paused.
Freestone told Cowboy State Daily there were bomb dogs and authorities from the Casper Police Department and Natrona County Sheriff’s Office were at the scene. Freestone said there were no SWAT teams on the scene or plans yet to initiate that type of response.
As of 11:30 a.m., about 10 minutes after the meeting had been halted, Freestone said everyone had been cleared from the building.
He Was There
State Sen. Ogden Driskill, R-Devils Tower, was in the meeting and said there were about 200 people evacuated from the building.
The Thyra Thomson building houses 12 state agencies and a new chancery court. It also routinely hosts various meetings connected with the Wyoming Legislature and other state boards.
During his 12 years in the Legislature, Driskill said this was the first time he’s heard of a bomb threat halting a state meeting.
“First time for me,” he said.
Driskill said there was no extreme urgency from those walking out of the building, and they were greeted by about a dozen law enforcement officers once reaching the front lawn. He said they were instructed to leave the vicinity of the building, which included the parking lot.
Driskill said they were told that people will not be able to get back into the building until at least 2 p.m.
Freestone said authorities were responding to multiple versions of the same emailed bomb threat received elsewhere around Casper.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information is available.This is a story developing and will be updated as more information is available.
Leo Wolfson can be reached at Leo@CowboyStateDaily.com.