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Person detained for questioning in school bomb threat

By Staff | Feb 28, 2024

A person has been detained for questioning in connection with a bomb threat that resulted in the lockdown of five Cape Coral schools this morning.

Cape Coral Police Department officers were dispatched to Cape Coral High School at 2300 Santa Barbara Blvd. South at approximately 7:43 a.m.after a student reported the threat.

“According to initial reports, an unidentified male dressed in camouflage attire and carrying a backpack was reported to have threatened a student with blowing up the school before departing northbound on foot,” a release from the CCPD issued this afternoon states.

Officers quickly set up a command post and perimeter to search for the person alleged to have made the threat, officials said, with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Aviation and the Florida Highway Patrol assisting the effort.

As a precaution, Cape Coral High School, surrounding businesses, and nearby schools and daycares were placed on lockdown. Schools included Heritage Charter Academy, Skyline Elementary, Challenger Middle and Patriot Elementary.

Meanwhile, the CCPD also received a report of possible gunfire near the campus.

“At the same time, a report of potential gunfire near the parking lots of Publix and Target, directly opposite Cape Coral High School, was investigated. It was later determined the sounds were caused by a motorcycle backfiring, not gunfire,” the release states.

Law enforcement units combed the area for two and half hours using business surveillance footage to identify a suspect with the assistance of the Cape Coral Police Department Tactical Intelligence and Analytics Center.

The lockdowns were lifted 10:20 a.m. and, at 10:43, a suspect was detained by Cape Coral Police Department detectives for questioning, officials said.

“Our detectives currently have a suspect from this mornings incident in custody on unrelated charges,” Deputy Chief Dana S. Coston said in a prepared statement, “Further updates will be provided once a charging decision has been made by the State Attorney’s Office regarding the alleged threats against the school and subsequent disruption of school functions it caused at Cape Coral High School and across the city.”

Coston expressed gratitude towards the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Highway Patrol, and community partners for their rapid response and support.

“Incidents like this tax our resources and instill fear in our community. Nothing is more important than the safety of our children. We are thankful for the swift actions taken by our community partners, ensuring safety and assisting in our investigative efforts,” he said.

The Cape Coral Police Department urges anyone with information related to this incident to come forward.

Updates will be provided as more information becomes available, officials said.

Source: CCPD