A bomb scare at The Sacramento Bee’s midtown building Thursday morning was resolved without incident shortly after 9 a.m.
The building had been evacuated early Thursday morning because of a suspicious bag left by the front door.
Described as a dark book or laptop bag, it was discovered outside the entrance to The Bee’s main office at 21st and Q streets, according to the Sacramento Police Department.
One of the building’s security guards noticed it and called police, said building supervisor Mark Walters.
The Sacramento Police Department’s explosive ordinance disposal unit arrived around 8:30 a.m. to “clear” the package. After being examined by a bomb squad officer in protective gear, it was determined not to be an explosive device at about 9:15 a.m.
“No explosives, nothing suspicious,” said Sacramento Police Department spokesman Det. Eddie Macaulay. He declined to say what was in the bag, but said the investigation would be ongoing.
Minutes later, Bee employees were allowed to enter the building.
“The safety of our colleagues is our highest priority and we will remain vigilant to ensure the protection of our journalists and the team working at The Bee,” said Sacramento Bee Publisher Gary Wortel.
The bag was dropped off by a man on a bicycle between 5:30 and 6 a.m., according to building staff. After responding to the call and examining the scene, police decided to bring in the department’s bomb squad.
“The information that we received ... when the officers came out here, what they observed, led us to the point where it was prudent to call out the (bomb) squad, to use their expertise to make sure everything was safe,” said Macaulay, who was on the scene.
Dozens of people arriving at the building gathered on the street and in nearby parking lots while waiting for police to determine what was in the bag. News staff said this was the first time since at least 1996 that they could recall a bomb scare at the newspaper.
Newsrooms across the country have been on high alert since a gunman killed five editorial employees last month inside the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md. Recently, The Bee installed new security measures at the building, including key card entrances that prevent intruders from accessing work spaces.