A suspicious package delivered to Early High School Monday afternoon resulted in the evacuation of the campus.
The suspicious package turned out to be LED lights but, according the a press release issued by the Early Police Department, officials at Early High School stated they were not expecting a package.
“We could not find a name or anything to really identify who it was for,” Early High School Principal Robert Weyman said. “My secretary started to open it a little bit and the inside looked very suspicious as to how it was packaged. I called Chief Mercer and he came over and looked at it. We tried tracing return addresses and could not come up with anything. The decision was made, with everything going on these days, we need to get it checked out.”
At first glance, the package contained seven individually wrapped 7-inch packages. Weyman said the packages were actually wiring for an LED light set purchased for the March 24 prom. The return label listed an address EPD officers linked to an electronic store in California. Weyman said the lights were accidentally sent an address in North Carolina.
“They stuck another shipping label over the original label, which meant we could not see who originally shipped it and sent it back here,” Weyman said. “Without any identifiers as to what it was or who it was shipped to or anything like that it became very suspicious and I am not going to take any chances these days.”
At the time of delivery, students had already left for the day, but EPD officers evacuated the remaining students participating in athletics and other extra-curricular activities. Weyman said Mercer arrived at EHS within minutes of receiving the call and does not feel embarrassed because of the false alarm.
“I don’t care if people think it was silly or stupid. I have the safety of these kids and the parents want to see their kids come home,” Weyman said.
The EPD then reached out to the Abilene Police Department Bomb Unit, who X-rayed the packages, revealing each package contained wiring related to LED lights.
“We did not have a choice but to evacuate the after school stuff and make sure nobody was around,” Mercer said. “I know it was an inconvenience, but we did not have a choice but to take that route. That was the last resort we took to do that, but when there is no way to know what is in it, we cannot take a chance on it hurting anyone.”