Update: FBI Joins Investigation into Yet Another Round of Threat - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Update: FBI Joins Investigation into Yet Another Round of Threats at Several Delmarva Schools

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Several Wicomico County sheriff's cars are shown in front of Salisbury Middle School following a bomb threat called into the school on Tuesday. (Photo: WBOC) Several Wicomico County sheriff's cars are shown in front of Salisbury Middle School following a bomb threat called into the school on Tuesday. (Photo: WBOC)
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UNDATED- For the second week in a row, law enforcement agencies are investigating bomb and related threats called into several public schools across Delmarva. The FBI in Baltimore is now taking a lead in investigating the threats, according to Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis, whose county has had schools affected by the threats.

"Today, I learned from the Baltimore Field Office of the FBI that they have now formed a Bomb Threat Task Force that will continue to work with local law enforcement in an effort to track down those responsible for these threats," Lewis said in a statement on the Sheriff's Office's Facebook page. "The FBI will assume primary investigative responsibility for these cases."

Tuesday's threats impacted several schools in both Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland. 

In Delaware, state police said in a news release that troopers were investigating threats made at the following three schools on Tuesday morning:

- Long Neck Elementary School, 26064 School Lane, Millsboro

- Woodbridge High School, 14712 Woodbridge Road, Greenwood

- Silverlake Elementary School 200 East Cochran St., Middletown 

The incidents occurred around 9:30 a.m. when a robotic style or computer generated voice phone call was received in each of the school’s offices, police said. 

Police said that in the case at Long Neck Elementary School, the caller stated he was armed and on the roof of the school and threatened to do harm to the students and faculty. Police said students there were immediately placed on lockdown and troopers and a K9 unit from Capitol Police Department immediately responded to the school.  Delaware State Police Aviation also responded and conducted an aerial search of the school and the grounds with nothing suspicious located, according to police. Police said an administrative search was conducted of the cafeteria and once cleared, the students were moved into that area before being bused to a predetermined location away from the school.  The remainder of the school was then cleared with nothing of suspicious nature or persons located, according to investigators. Students were returning to the school to resume their normal activities, according to police.

Students and faculty at Silverlake Elementary School were evacuated onto buses and transported to a safe distance away from the school while administrative searches were conducted with nothing out of the ordinary or suspicious located, police said. Students and staff were allowed back into their school upon the completion of the search and resumed their daily activities.

Troopers said Woodbridge High School did not have students in the school on Tuesday, although faculty were present and were temporarily evacuated while administrative searches were conducted with nothing out of the ordinary or suspicious located.

Police are asking anyone with information about these incidents to contact Troop 2 Youth Aid Division at (302) 834-2620, Troop 3 Youth Aid Division at (302) 697-4454, or Troop 4 Youth Aid Division at (302) 856-5850.   

Also in Delaware, Central Middle School in Dover received an "automated call" on Tuesday morning stating there were "armed persons on the roof and guns in the school," according to the Capital School District. District officials said the school was placed on lockdown as officers responded and checked the roof and building. The lockdown was lifted after the all-clear was given, district officials said.  

In Maryland, Worcester County Public Schools report that Stephen Decatur High School in Berlin on Tuesday morning received a telephone call to the main building indicating there was a bomb in the building. Police were notified and all students and staff were evacuated from the building, school officials said. 

Salisbury Middle School in Salisbury also received a bomb threat Tuesday morning, according to the Wicomico County Public Schools. In a message sent to all Wicomico County families and staff, the WCPS said school safety officials and law enforcement collaborated on the investigation in what appeared to be a "non-credible bomb threat." Officials said that after a "thorough search" that occurred as instruction continued in classrooms, the building and grounds were declared clear and normal operations resumed. 

"Students are safe in place and instruction is continuing as law enforcement conducts a thorough search of the building and grounds," the WCPS said. "Salisbury Middle has already sent out an automated message to inform its school families. This matter is being handled with the safety of students and staff as our highest priority." 

Other communities on the East Coast also received threats made against schools on Tuesday. According to the Associated Press, bomb threats were made against schools in at least nine New Jersey towns. None of the threats was considered valid, but schools in Garfield, Bergenfield, Leonia, Fair Lawn, Englewood, Teaneck, Hackensack, Tenafly and Clifton, N.J. received the robocall threats overnight. Police are investigating whether they are related, according to the AP. 

In addition to the threats made to several Delmarva and New Jersey schools, 15 were made in Massachusetts and one in Pennsylvania, according to the Associated Press. 

Tuesday's incidents were just the latest in a series of threats made to several schools on Delmarva over the past week

Lewis said that while the FBI is assuming "prime responsibility" in investigating the threats, "We in Wicomico County will continue to work closely with our federal partners to ensure the safety and well-being of our students and faculty members, while being mindful of our duty and responsibility to investigate these threats on a case by case basis."

"Decisions to evacuate our schools are not taken lightly," Lewis said. "After much thought and careful consideration of the facts in each case, a joint decision will be made by the Sheriff’s Office and the Wicomico County Public Schools/Board of Education to shelter in place or evacuate the school."

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