A suspicious object that sent bomb and arson investigators scrambling to the roof of West Hills High School in Santee turned out to be an improperly disposed science project, sheriff’s deputies said.
A school resource deputy was advised of the suspicious object at 8:10 a.m. Wednesday morning.
“He went up along with the maintenance man to check it out and he agreed that it was a suspicious looking bottle,a plastic bottle that was discolored, which to him looked like what we call a ‘dry ice bomb’,” sheriff’s deputy Sgt. Scott Hill said.
The deputy backed off, and according to Sgt. Hill, the area was evacuated and the school was locked down. The school had said earlier that the school was not locked down.
“In our eyes we call it a lock down, only because they are held in their class and we have them stay in place,” Sgt. Hill said.
A sheriff’s helicopter flew over the school to make sure there were no other devices, and then bomb investigators moved in to check out the suspicious object.
“They dealt with the bottle and found it to actually be a school science project that was discarded after the project and probably just tossed up onto the roof,” Sgt. Hill said. “It was two 2-liter bottles, cut in half and then an egg is taped inside and it’s wrapped in some protective paper.”
A parent who has children at the school says she was shocked when she saw investigators swarming the campus.
“I was very alarmed. I didn’t know what was going on. I had just got a phone call saying that my son was sick, I didn’t get another phone call saying this was going on,” Sheila Nunn said. “I’m glad it was nothing. I’m surprised that my daughter hasn’t called me on her cell phone though. I’m still waiting for that. Thank God that everything’s okay.”