SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) — A person of interest is under investigation after a bomb threat canceled classes and moved voters from a planned polling location at Salem Jr./Sr. High School Tuesday morning.
Police officers and firefighters were called to the school shortly before 8 a.m. after a threat was called to 911, according to the Salem Police Department.
“I actually spoke to the caller on the phone. It was very concerning. The caller cut off the call, so we responded to the school and evacuated it immediately,” said Salem Police Chief J.T. Panezott.
The Youngstown Bomb Squad was dispatched to the school, as well as the FBI and Ohio Attorney General.
“We do have access to bomb-sniffing dogs, and they have gone through the building, and from my understanding, they have a real good tip of who might have done this,” said Superintendent Sam Kirkland.
According to a statement released by Kirkland Tuesday evening, a person of interest, located out of state, is under serious investigation as the perpetrator. The threat being treated as a federal crime.
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Students were taken across the street to First Christian Church, where they were released to their parents.
Students have been permitted to return to the school to pick up their belongings. Classes will resume Wednesday, according to a statement from Kirkland.
There were originally two polling locations at the school: Precinct 15 Salem City 3B and Precinct 16 Salem City 3C.
“My guess is it had something to do with the fact that the precincts are here on location at the high school, but we won’t be deterred. We have an issue on the ballot today, so hopefully voters will come out and we’ll get back to the job of educating our kids tomorrow,” Kirkland said.
Voting was moved to the First Christian Church.
The Columbiana County Board of Elections reports that the switch to the new location was efficient and didn’t have too much of an impact on voting.
“Voting has continued. We had minimal disruption. We plan for events like this. We go through all of our preparedness in the county. Salem officials, law enforcement in the county did a fantastic job on the situation today,” said Bryce Miner, of the BOE.
Polls closed at 7:30 p.m. WKBN will have the latest election results at WKBN.com.