May 20—A “suspicious bag” was found outside the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture late last month, triggering a response from the bomb squad and federal officers.
A museum security officer found the bag the afternoon of April 29 outside the back door to the museum, 2316 W. First Ave., near Riverside Avenue, said Carol Summers, museum director of marketing and communications. Upon inspecting the bag, the officer found bottles with fuses or wicks in them.
Summers said the officer alerted the museum security manager, who immediately called police. The Spokane Police Department’s Explosive Disposal Unit and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives responded to the scene.
Law enforcement determined the contents of the bag did not have accelerant, so the bottles did not pose a threat, Summers said. Law enforcement officers took the bag and its contents for analysis.
Julie Humphreys, Spokane police spokeswoman, said police and ATF are investigating, and no one has been arrested. She said investigators had not established if a crime had taken place and why the bag was there.
Summers said museum officials provided security footage to law enforcement, which identified the responsible person. Humphreys was unable to verify whether police had identified a person.
Summers said police told museum officials there was no evidence to suggest the responsible person intended to use the devices against the museum and believed there was no ongoing threat to the museum.
She said the museum stepped up security patrols out of an abundance of caution.
“We’re confident that we’re safe, and it’s a worry-free place to visit,” Summers said.