No suspects in ‘credible’ school threat

Chief Umtuch Middle School in Battle Ground, Wash., on Sept. 11, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)
Chief Umtuch Middle School in Battle Ground, Wash., on Sept. 11, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)

BATTLE GROUND, Wash. (KOIN) – Battle Ground School District officials closed five schools Wednesday for what was termed a series of “creditable threats.” A nearby private school was also closed as well.

According to the district, the threats were directed to students and staff at Chief Umtuch Middle School Tuesday.

In an early afternoon news conference, Lt. Ray Butler with the Battle Ground Police Department said there are no suspects or persons of interest. Butler also could not say if explosives were mentioned in the threat, but did say this is not related to a threat made in February.

Lt. Ray Butler of the Battle Ground Police Department, Sept. 11, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)
Lt. Ray Butler of the Battle Ground Police Department, Sept. 11, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)

The superintendent, after meeting with Battle Ground police, decided to cancel classes at Chief Umtuch Middle School, Captain Strong Primary School, Summit View Middle School, CAM Academy and Battle Ground High School for Wednesday. The schools are located within blocks of one another.

Battle Ground police conducted a physical sweep of all five schools Wednesday morning and found nothing. The FBI has also been consulted on the issue.

“The school district and police department will continue to evaluate the situation and notify parents and staff with information on when school will resume,” a district spokesperson said.

Battle Ground High School was one of six schools closed in the district over "credible" threats, Sept. 11, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)
Battle Ground High School was one of six schools closed in the district over “credible” threats, Sept. 11, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)

The district said it had not decided whether to open the schools on Thursday. When they do, there will be an increased police presence.

The Firm Foundation Christian School, a private school in Battle Ground, announced later Wednesday morning that it was closing as well.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Battle Ground police at 360.342.5200.

Developments to this story on KOIN.com:

Audio of the phone message to parents from the Battle Ground School District:

— Brent Weisberg and Jessica Morkert contributed to this report.

Follow on Twitter: @BrentKOIN

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