Hundreds Evacuate Stadium Area After Bomb Threat at MSU

By: Anthony Sabella Email
By: Anthony Sabella Email

"I'm just glad it wasn't the real thing," said Scott Westerman, Executive Director of the MSU Alumni Association.

MSU Police have two suspects in custody after a bomb threat forced the evacuation of Spartan Stadium and surrounding buildings. An arraignment could come as early as Thursday afternoon with the suspects facing felony charges.

Police say the threat came over the phone around 3:15 p.m., Wednesday. Hundreds of MSU employees inside the stadium were then forced to drop everything and leave. Nearby buildings, like Central Services, were also emptied. That's where Austin Mahoney got the call from police.

"[They] asked to speak to my supervisor and said everyone needs to evacuate," Mahoney recalled. "Really no explanation at all."

Mahoney and other employees walked across Red Cedar Road to a bomb shelter inside Wells Hall.

Construction on the $24 million North Endzone stadium expansion also shut down immediately. Workers watched from across the street while police conducted their investigation. Meantime, those who evacuated the stadium 'tower' went to the grounds around Munn Ice Arena.

MSU Alumni Association Executive Director Scott Westerman was one of the last to leave.

"We had team members come down the hall and say it's time to evacuate, this is not a drill," he remembered. "Everyone went for the doors, like they always do. Those of us in senior management took a quick look around to make sure everyone was okay."

Westerman says it took less than ten minutes for 200 employees to get outside. Years of evacuation drills, including a fire drill last month, helped to keep the situation calm.

"When you practice as often as you do, everything is automatic," he said.

Luckily, police gave the all-clear just a couple of hours later. A sigh of relief for those outside.

"I'm just glad it wasn't the real thing," said Westerman.

MSU Police Sgt. Florene McGlothian-Taylor says the investigation report should be finished Wednesday night, at which point it will be sent to the Ingham County Prosecutor's Office.

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