Local News

Downtown Apex reopens after three bomb threats

Posted September 29, 2015 7:59 p.m. EDT
Updated September 29, 2015 10:33 p.m. EDT

— Downtown Apex was blocked off for about two hours Tuesday evening as police investigated multiple bomb threats at the Halle Cultural Arts Center.

Apex Police Chief John Letteney said that at about 5:15 p.m. a caller contacted the Halle Cultural Arts Center on Salem Street stating that there was a bomb in the building. Two minutes later, another call was placed and the caller said that everyone needed to get out of the building.

The Halle Cultural Arts Center was evacuated Tuesday evening as were the adjacent buildings.

Leslie-Anne Ball, an employee at a nearby restaurant, was working a table when she said police asked everyone to evacuate.

"It was just kind of a shock. There were a lot of businesses affected, and that is a shame," Ball said.

The Halle Cultural Arts Center was cleared at 7:15 p.m. after it was thoroughly examined by officers and nitrate-trained police dogs, said Letteney.

Shortly after the building was cleared, a third call was made and the caller said that there was still a bomb in the building. Having just inspected the building, police determined the area was safe.

Although some downtown businesses reopened Tuesday night, the Cultural Arts Center remained closed for the evening.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to close the building for the evening,” Letteney said. “It is closed now, it is locked, and it will remain that way until tomorrow.”

A zoning meeting involving a car dealership that hoped to set up a location at Davis Street and N.C. Highway 54 was scheduled to take place at the Cultural Arts Center Tuesday night. Letteney said that police did not have any information as to whether the bomb threats were related to this meeting.

Kymberly Daniels said she was one of the many residents against the proposed plan for the dealership. She believes that the zoning meeting was the motivation behind the threats.

"We do not feel [the dealership] falls into line with what is and what does make Apex a very historical town," said Daniels.

Letteney said it was also too early to determine if the bomb threats were related to threats that occurred at Wake County schools earlier Tuesday.

Police are currently investigating the case and checking phone records to track down the caller who made the threats.

“There’s a lot of investigative work that has to go on behind the scenes based on the phone system and the records for the computer,” said Letteney.