Amid threat, 1,400 students evacuated safely from Mesa County school

Posted at 1:34 PM, Mar 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-28 20:07:42-04

MESA COUNTY, Colo. — More than a thousand students were evacuated from Central High School amid an unconfirmed threat received by authorities Tuesday. 

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office says a man called the Grand Junction Regional Communication Center just before 10 a.m., said he was hiding in the school with weapons, and threatened the lives of staff and students.

Mesa County Sheriff's Office officials kept parents updated throughout the day as police continued an organized sweep through the school to check for threats. During the sweep, they evacuated 1,400 students to nearby Palisade High School.

The sheriff's office said "there are indications" the call "did not originate locally."

Parents received the all clear to pick up students from Palisade High School at about 1 p.m., hours after Central High School entered lockdown procedure.

Amid the emergency response, police eased parental concerns, telling parents their students would be safe as they were evacuated by trained officers and staff. They even dispelled rumors.

"Law enforcement is actively working to search the building," an official wrote. "Information that we have confirmed that someone is barricaded and armed in the building IS NOT TRUE." 

Other nearby schools were placed in shelter-in-place procedures, but were never evacuated, including Grand Mesa Middle School and Grand Junction High Schools. 

Bomb squad sweeps lasted through the afternoon, but no suspicious items were ever found, according to the sheriff's office.


Sign up for Denver7 email alerts to stay informed about breaking news and daily headlines.

Or, keep up-to-date by following Denver7 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.