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LMPD gives all-clear after removing ‘suspicious device’ from downtown

One of the robots LMPD used during their investgation into the package returns to the bomb squad vehicle.
One of the robots LMPD used during their investgation into the package returns to the bomb squad vehicle.

The Louisville Metro Police Department has lifted a shelter in place order for parts of downtown prompted by a “suspicious device” Friday morning.

Police closed several blocks around Jefferson and Fifth streets, near Metro Hall, and asked people living and working in nearby buildings to not leave, starting at around 9 a.m. LMPD canvassed the area alongside the FBI and ATF.

LMPD’s bomb squad and hazardous incident response team aided in the investigation. Law enforcement deployed robots and police dogs at the scene. Metro SWAT teams and officers searched the surrounding areas for other possible threats.

Several hours after the device was first reported, LMPD rescinded the shelter in place order and allowed traffic in the area to resume, except for one block along Jefferson Street.

“We have determined that the package is safe to transport. So we will be transporting it off-site for further testing,” Chief Erika Shields said during a briefing just before 1 p.m.

Shields said the FBI is taking over the investigation moving forward.

During the initial police response, some employees at Melba’s, a restaurant near where the device was found, were unable to head home.

Barista Ayanne Cooney said she couldn’t reach her vehicle because it was parked in the blocked-off zone.

She said she’d never experienced anything like the incident during her time working at Melba’s. 

“We get little actions here and there from usual stuff in Louisville, but this is the very first time we’ve been basically in the center of a bomb threat,” Cooney said.

Breya Jones is the Arts & Culture Reporter for LPM. Email Breya at bjones@lpm.org.