Mississippi Capitol closed after bomb threat on second day of legislative session

Published 10:44 am Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Capitol staffers were being turned away from the building early Wednesday morning after a bomb threat, Public Safety Commissioner Sean Tindell confirmed to Mississippi Today.

“It’s likely nothing, but we are going through our normal protocols,” Tindell said. This included closing entrances, turning away staff and blocking off streets around the building in downtown Jackson. Tindell said the building was being swept by explosive-detecting dogs.

There was a heavy police presence around the Capitol on Wednesday morning. Police blocked both roads and sidewalks in a one-block radius around the building, and some Capitol staff stood on the lawn away from the building. The closed roads were causing some traffic backup on West Street and High Street as people were arriving downtown for work between 7 and 8 a.m.

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Further information on the nature of the bomb threat was not immediately being provided by authorities.

DPS Deputy Commissioner Keith Davis said authorities were notified about the threat about 6:45 a.m. Wednesday. He said anyone with business at the Capitol on Wednesday should check for delays by visiting legislature.ms.gov for updates.

In a statement DPS said, “The Mississippi Department of Public Safety was notified earlier this morning of suspicious activity in and around the Mississippi State Capitol … Standard emergency procedures are being followed and conducted. At this time, no further comment will be made and additional information will be provided when possible.”

Wednesday marks the second day of the 2024 Mississippi legislative session. On Tuesday the Capitol was packed with lawmakers who were being sworn in, family and legislative staff.

Story by Geoff Pender, Mississippi Today