A county headquarters office for the Tennessee Republican Party and several neighboring businesses were hastily evacuated on Friday morning following the discovery of a package that had all the appearances of a bomb.
It was later revealed that the package — which contained a threatening message, two-way hand-held radio, wiring, and a clay-like substance — was nothing more than an inert hoax that posed no real danger.
Bomb threat forces evacuations
The Murfreesboro Daily News Journal reported that police were called and businesses surrounding the downtown office were evacuated shortly after 9 a.m. on Friday, when the package was discovered.
A threatening message inside the package read: “This is just a warning. There will be no others. There will be no unconstitutional gun control in this state, or there will be blood.”
The Murfreesboro Police Department (MPD), with the help of K9 officers and assistance from the Murfreesboro Fire and Rescue Department, worked quickly to determine the level of danger posed by the package.
Everyone was cleared to return to their respective buildings just 45 minutes later.
“Everything is safe, scene is clear and employees have returned to work,” the MPD wrote in a tweet.
It remains unclear if the fake bomb was delivered by the U.S. Postal Service or another delivery service, or was dropped off at the office by a third party.
On the lookout
The executive director of the Tennessee Republican Party, Michael Sullivan, shared a picture of the fake bomb with the media.
“This is just a warning, there will be no others.” This is the suspicious package delivered this morning to Rutherford County Republican Party headquarters in Murfreesboro, prompting the evacuation of downtown businesses. @WKRN pic.twitter.com/7mTMA6taWo
— Josh Breslow (@JoshBreslowWKRN) June 7, 2019
Sullivan went on to email a warning to all of the state party’s county chairs and executive committee members to be on the lookout for similar packages.
The GOP’s county chairman, Daniel Gammon, said in a statement that the party is “thankful for the quick action of Murfreesboro law enforcement and that all of our volunteers and staff are safe.”
“The threat made against the Rutherford County Republican Party this morning is alarming,” state party chairman Scott Golden added. “There is no instance where violence is acceptable in any political conversation. We condemn this threat of violence and are extremely grateful to local law enforcement for their quick response to this potential threat.”