Suspicious device prompts lockout Tuesday morning at Thurston County middle school


Chinook Middle School in Lacey went into lockout about 9 a.m. Tuesday after a suspicious device was found in a porta-potty near the school, according to a message sent to families and Lacey police.

After the device was reported, the school opted for a lockout, according to an email to parents from school Principal Sarah Shaw.

"We called for a lockout where all staff and students went to the gym," she wrote. "We are collaborating with law enforcement, and they are on site. The lockout ended a little after 9 a.m. and students returned to their classrooms."

This is the third instance of a suspicious device found at or near the school since May 18, Lacey police Sgt. Jeremy Knight said.

On May 18, a device was found in a porta-potty. On May 20, two devices were found in a wooded area east of the school, and then another device was found again in a porta-potty on Tuesday.

Knight described the devices as crude attempts to make an explosive, although he said "none of them were viable." Police are working with the Washington State Patrol bomb squad and other partners on the case, adding that all the devices have been collected and analyzed, he said.

"We assure you that school safety is a top priority, and we will continue monitoring the situation," Principal Shaw said in her email.

Anyone with information is asked to call Lacey police at 360-459-4333 or the Chinook administration at 360-412-4760.


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