The Aberdeen Safeway store was evacuated Wednesday morning after a bomb threat was called in to the store. It remained closed for about four hours while Washington State Patrol Bomb Squad technicians and bomb sniffing dogs checked the store.
Store manager Patti Kennedy praised her staff for handling the situation calmly and efficiently.
“Everyone was very cooperative, as well as the customers,” she said.”We secured the building and made sure all the customers and employees had evacuated.”
Management called Aberdeen Police immediately after the call came in. Employees did a first check of the store for anything suspicious before the bomb squad arrived.
“We’re not saying anything about exactly what the threat was,” Aberdeen Police Department Capt. John Green said.
An entry in the police log gives some sense of the threat: “Just received a call from a male stating that he has placed multiple explosive devices in the store and they will go off in one hour.”
Aberdeen Police arrived and evacuated the building and parking lot, blocking entrances with caution tape, shopping carts and traffic cones.
“The Aberdeen Police Department is and always has been absolutely fabulous,” Kennedy said.
Two officers stayed on the scene as the State Patrol searched the store. They responded with the WSP Bomb Squad truck, two bomb technicians, four bomb dogs and their handlers.
“The State Patrol, they’re an awesome group, great people. They respond well, they’re very professional,” Green said. “They provide a lot of support to us.”
Kennedy said both agencies were accommodating and kept her updated throughout the process.
Green said bomb threats in Aberdeen are very unusual, particularly at a store.
“We don’t get a lot of them. We get some at school occasionally, especially in the spring. But for Safeway, it’s pretty unusual,” he said.
“Everything was cleared, so that’s a good thing,” Kennedy said. “Come in and shop till you drop.”
Daily World Reporter Amelia Dickson contributed to this report.