Middletown – The Delaware State Police are investigating a pair of threats aimed at Middletown High School that were received earlier this afternoon, according to Public Information Officer, Master Corporal Michael Austin.
Austin said at approximately 12:32 p.m., an unknown male subject called the main office at Middletown High School, which is located at 120 Silver Lake Rd., stating that he was in possession of a bomb, and that he was en-route to the school. The call taker immediately advised the school administration as well as the School Resource Officer assigned to the school. The school was immediately placed on lock-down and additional Troopers were requested to assist with the search of the school. Approximately ten minutes after the initial threatening call, a second call was received by the dispatch center in which a male caller stated that he was in the area of Middletown High School and was in possession of a rifle. said Austin.
Upon being advised of the second threat all schools in the Appoquinimink School District were placed on lock-down, as a precautionary measure, even though the only corroborated threat involved Middletown High School. Additional law enforcement manpower and resources were also requested to assist with securing the perimeter around the school and to assist with searching the area. Agencies lending assistance to the Delaware State Police included the Middletown Police Department, New Castle County Police Department, Department of Natural Resources K-9 Unit, Delaware River & Bay Authority and Delaware City Police Department. As part of perimeter security DE Rt. 299 was closed between Silver Lake Rd. and Brick Mill Rd. during the operation.
A systematic search of the interior and exterior of Middletown High School, which included the utilization of multiple Explosive Detection K-9 teams proved negative for any suspicious objects or explosive devices. The surrounding area of the school was also searched on foot by multiple law enforcement officers as well as by air by the Delaware State Police helicopter. This search was also negative for any type of suspicious object, person or weapon.
During the search of Middletown High School, information was received that there was an incident occurring inside Redding Middle School, which was immediately assessed, checked and proved to be unfounded, by officers who were already on site providing perimeter security.
After all buildings were cleared and deemed secure, school dismissal proceeded as normal, with the only exception being at Middletown High School where a staggered dismissal was initiated. The total time that schools were on lock-down was approximately 90 minutes.
After all students and staff were cleared from Middletown High School, Troopers performed a follow-up search of the building and campus as a precautionary measure, which again produced nothing suspicious.
The investigation into the threats is ongoing and anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective M. Evans at Middletown High School by calling 302-376-4141 and following the prompts.
As a result of the threat, some students were released late and in stages. Afterschool activities for the Middletown High School Campus, including sports, clubs, and adult education were canceled.
Newark Charter also canceled its field hockey games against MOT as a result of the incident.