NewsMontana News


Sheriff: Object found at Helena elementary school harmless, not an explosive device

Posted at 3:17 PM, Oct 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-15 19:48:31-04

UPDATE 3:00 P.M.: The Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's Office says an object found at Rossiter Elementary School Tuesday morning was not an explosive device and there was no detonation.

According to Sheriff Leo Dutton, the object was a bottle filled with gears or machine parts and an unknown liquid that does not appear flammable.

Dutton says in the course of the investigation they spoke to a homeless man who they believe found the bottle and moved it from nearby construction site.

Dutton emphasized that the school took the appropriate steps after finding the object due to the unknown nature of it.

Additional tests will be completed, but they are not expected to show any dangerous material.

Rossiter is expected to reopen to students on Wednesday.

UPDATE 11:30 A.M.: Lewis and Clark Emergency Management Office says all Helena and East Helena area schools have been cleared and lock downs have been lifted.

Rossiter remains closed for the day. It has not been determined yet if Rossiter Elementary School students will be allowed to return to class on Wednesday.

Helena College has shut down the Airport Campus and the Donaldson Campus due to the incident at Rossiter Elementary School. Classes at Helena College have been canceled for the remainder of the day and students have been asked to go home.

UPDATE: 10:30 A.M.: The Lewis and Clark Co. Sheriff's Office is holding a news conference on Tuesday morning's incident at Rossiter Elementary School.

UPDATE 9:38 A.M: Lewis and Clark Co. officials say Improvised Explosive Device detonated on the Rossiter Elementary School playground Tuesday morning.

No one was injured when the device went off. A safe path has been cleared for students to be evacuated. Buses are carrying kids to the Little Red School House east of Frontage Rd.

All Helena and East Helena Schools have been locked down as a precaution. Law enforcement officers are searching the schools as a precaution.

The Lewis and Clark Co. Sheriff's Office, the Montana Highway Patrol, the Helena Police Department, FBI and ATF are all on scene assisting with the investigation.

HELENA: Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton say traffic is being diverted around Sierra Rd in the Helena Valley Wednesday morning after a report of a possible explosive device.

Sierra Rd. has been closed between N. Montana and Frontage Road. People are being asked to avoid the area.

According to the Montana Highway Patrol, students are being evacuated from Rossiter Elementary. Parents are being asked to pick up students the Little Red School House.

Parents should take the Frontage Rd or the Masonic Rd. home to reach the school house.

This is a developing story, we will update you when more information becomes available.