At approximately 9:40 a.m., Hamilton College’s Office of Campus Safety received a bomb threat, and the caller referenced a possible shooting at Kirner-Johnson Building. The college immediately instituted an evacuation order for the Kirner-Johnson Building and a shelter-in-place order for the south side of the campus. The order to shelter-in-place was extended to the entire campus a short time later.
Law enforcement agencies responded immediately. Approximately 50 officers from the New York State Police, the Oneida and Madison County Sheriffs, Kirkland Police, Offices of Emergencies Services, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Fires Arms and Explosives were involved in investigating the incident.
Two suspicious packages were identified in Kirner-Johnson Building and found by authorities not to be a threat. The first package contained photographic materials. Kirner-Johnson Building and adjoining buildings and surrounding residence halls were searched by law enforcement officers. No other suspicious items were found. After an extensive search and investigation, law enforcement determined the threats made by the caller were not credible and authorized the college to issue an all-clear message at approximately 5:55 p.m. Officials continue to investigate the initial phone call.
Hamilton College wishes to express its gratitude to the many law enforcement agencies and officers who responded to ensure the safety of the Hamilton College community, the Village of Clinton and the Town of Kirkland. Some New York State Troopers will remain on campus tonight and tomorrow.
Update: April 13, 5:57 p.m. After conducting a thorough sweep of Kirner-Johnson and adjacent buildings with bomb-sniffing dogs, the New York State Police has recommended that Hamilton College fully lift its shelter-in-place order that was enacted this morning. Since the bomb threat was judged to be unsubstantiated and no evidence exists to validate the accompanying threat of a possible shooter, the police are now focusing on finding the perpetrator of this incident. Thank you for your patience and cooperation. We are also grateful to the approximately 50 local, county and state police officers who responded from across New York State. Several State Police officers will remain on campus tonight and tomorrow.
Update: April 13, 5:30 p.m. Canine units are still searching Kirner-Johnson and adjacent buildings on the South Campus. All South Campus academic and residential buildings remain closed and off limits. The shelter-in-place order is lifted for the North Campus only. Those sheltering on the South Campus in the Kennedy Center, Major, Minor, Macintosh, Keehn and Root must remain sheltered until further notice. The shelter-in-place is lifted for all other buildings. You cannot access vehicles on the South Campus for the time being. This is being done for your safety.
Update: April 13, 4:58 p.m. We have no new information to report this time. Next update in 30-45 minutes or sooner if new information is available.
Update: April 13, 4 p.m. Multiple canine units still working on the south campus to ensure the area is safe. Thank you for your continued patience and cooperation.
Update: April 13, 3:15 p.m. Suspicious package in Kirner-Johnson Building was investigated and found not to be a threat. A second object found nearby was also checked as a precaution. Police are now conducting another sweep of the Kirner-Johnson Building and are checking adjacent buildings with bomb-sniffing dogs to ensure the area is safe. Campus remains in lockdown. Thank you for your continued cooperation and patience as we work to ensure your safety and resolve this issue.
Update: April 13, 2:30 p.m. State Police explosive technicians are on campus and are working through their process to investigate the suspicious package found in KJ. We expect to have more information available in the next 30-45 minutes. The shelter in place order remains in effect until further notice.
Update: April 13, 1:40 p.m. Due to the length of the emergency, all classes are cancelled but you must remain sheltered in place. The campus lockdown is likely to last for at least a couple more hours. Thank you for your cooperation. Updates every 30-45 minutes.
Update: April 13, 1:08 p.m. We will continue trying to provide updates every 30-45 minutes. We have no new information to report. The State Police technicians are en route from Albany with specialized equipment to investigate the suspicious package that was found in the Kirner-Johnson Building and have begun tracking down leads for the person or persons responsible. Those in Schambach, McEwen, KJ, Babbitt, Milbank, List and Cafe Opus have been evacuated to the Field House. Thank you for your cooperation. Please continue to shelter in place.
Update: April 13, 12:23 p.m. Partial Evacuation of South Campus. Those in McEwen, Milbank, Babbitt, Cafe Opus and Schambach should evacuate down Green Apple Way to Field House. Do NOT use Martin's Way. Officers will assist. Exit on the side of Green Apple Way. Specialized responders coming from Albany to investigate suspicious package.
Update: April 13, 12:12 p.m. Suspicious package found in KJ. Police bomb technicians en route. Entire campus will remain in lockdown for the foreseeable future until technicians arrive and can investigate. Suspicious package found in KJ. Police bomb technicians en route. Entire Campus will remain in lockdown for the foreseeable future until technicians arrive and can investigate.
Update: April 13, 11:45 a.m. Police continue investigating a bomb threat in KJ and threat of a shooting. All on campus should shelter in place until further notice. Stay inside, lock doors, draw curtains and stay away from windows. Another update in about 30 minutes or sooner if more information becomes available.
Update: April 13, 11:21 a.m. Police are investigating a bomb threat and possible shooter at Kirner-Johnson Bldg. Shelter in place is extended to entire campus. Move inside. Lock doors if possible, draw curtains, stay away from windows. More information as it becomes available.
April 13, 10:40 a.m. Attention Hamilton College community. The police are investigating an emergency situation at Kirner-Johnson. All employees and students are instructed to stay clear of the building, and the entire south side of campus shall immediately shelter in place. This is not a drill. More information will be forthcoming as it becomes available.