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Gaston County Social Services building and courthouse evacuated for suspicious package investigation

The package was found near the Gaston County DSS building and the courthouse across the street is also being evacuated.
Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 5:16 PM EDT
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GASTON COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - The Gaston County Social Services building and Gaston County Courthouse were evacuated on Wednesday afternoon because of a suspicious package investigation.

Police say the item in question was a suitcase found near the Gaston County DSS building and the courthouse across the street was also evacuated.

Gastonia Police determined there was no threat and cleared the scene.

Rick Goodale, public information officer for the Gastonia Police Department, said a Gaston County Sheriff’s Office deputy initially spotted the suitcase near the department of social services building on Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

“The deputy went and checked it out. It appeared to be suspicious. He immediately asked for a K-9 to come and check the suitcase. The K-9 showed up and did alert on the suitcase that there might be the presence of possible explosive device in that suitcase,” said Goodale.

The public information officer said police were still concerned about the suitcase after conducting a scan of the item.

“An X-Ray of the package did show that their was something inside the suitcase that appeared to be possibly suspicious in nature warranting further investigation,” said Goodale.

He said members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation were called in and the suitcase was scanned again. Investigators also scanned a nearby post office drop-box. Goodale said no threatening items were found and the area was deemed safe. He explained what was actually in the suitcase.

“It just appeared to be personal items, but apparently they were arranged in such a way that on the initial scan it looked like maybe some wiring and like some wiring may have been wired up to something. That’s what created initial concern,” said Goodale.

The public information officer said law enforcement was pleased with how the situation turned out.

“You know this is the way it’s supposed to work. We work with our federal partners. They came in and helped us out with some additional equipment and thankfully we were able to determine that there was no threat,” said Goodale.

He said police are still going to work to determine who that suitcase belongs to.

Gaston County Scene
Gaston County Scene(WBTV)

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