1 in custody after suspicious package found at Monarch High School; lockdown lifted

Posted at 8:52 AM, Mar 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-09 17:08:19-05

LOUISVILLE, Colo. – One person is in custody after a suspicious package was found near Monarch High School in Louisville Thursday. The high school and a nearby K-8 school were put on lockdown while police investigated. 

Around 8:15 a.m., Louisville Police say a 24-year-old man, possibly a former student, was seen by school security trying to make entry onto school grounds. Security called police after the suspect became evasive. Police discovered the suspicious bag after arriving at the school. Police could not say if the bag belongs to the suspect.

"We'd rather be safe than sorry, and until we can definitively identify the owner of the backpack, we don't that it belongs to the suspects, we don't know that it doesn't belong to the suspects," Commander Jeff Fischer said. "We want to make sure that we take that bag into custody and make sure it's safe." 

The bag's discovery prompted school officials to place both Monarch High School and Monarch k-8 on lockdown. Buses carrying K-8 students were rerouted to a nearby church. The lockdown order came as the buses were heading to the school. Parents who wanted to pick up their children were directed to go to the church.

The Boulder County Sheriff's Office bomb squad and SWAT team were assisting on scene. A bomb squad robot was seen outside the building. Bomb techs took the bag from the school, eventually learning the suspicious backpack wasn't a threat at all. 

The suspect was eventually identified as Brenton Church, 24, who faces misdemeanor charges now.


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.