LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Four high school campuses had to evacuate after simultaneous bomb threats and a demand for a $500,000 ransom payment.
Fayette County Public Schools says shortly after noon on Tuesday, officials received an anonymous message through the district's STOP tip line that bombs were placed on the following high school campuses:
- Henry Clay High School
- Lafayette High School
- Frederick Douglass High School
- Paul Laurence Dunbar High School
The message demanded a $500,000 ransom payment to a Bitcoin account. The four schools were immediately evacuated as a result.
Tuesday evening, FCPS spokesperson Lisa Deffendall shared that nothing was found at any of the four locations.
"There is no room for error when it comes to the health and safety of our students and staff," FCPS Superintendent Demetrus Liggins shared in a live stream. "Our schools have emergency plans in place for situations like this and responded appropriately."
Officers with the Fayette County Public Schools Police Department and the Lexington Police Department assisted to evacuate the roughly 10,000 students and employees on all four campuses. All students and staff were evacuated from campus and gathered in the football stadiums for the rest of the school day.
"The credit is really to our school leaders," said FCPS Police Chief Martin Schafer. "Everything went smoothly, and we quickly got students and staff to safety."
This was the scene when I arrived at Lafayette HS. Students and staff being escorted from head corner of campus to a pickup point for parents @LEX18News https://t.co/HeU1LKM3cB pic.twitter.com/x8bEDQlIea— Conroy Delouche (@ConroyDelouche) September 21, 2021
Officers with the Lexington Police Intelligence Unit and the FBI launched their investigation into the source of the threat. Police believe the threat was received from outside the Fayette County Public Schools network.
All after-school activities were canceled.