Suspicious device resembling possible pipe bomb found outside Denver elementary school

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DENVER – Police are investigating a suspicious device resembling a pipe bomb found at Joe Shoemaker Elementary School in southeast Denver.

According to the Denver Police Department, the device was discovered by a neighbor around 11:40 a.m. on Tuesday. The school was put on lockdown while the bomb squad and K-9 units searched the grounds.

In a letter sent home to parents, Principal Christine Fleming wrote:

“After police officers and their K-9 units searched the area, they found nothing that posed a threat to the school. The search did find, in the grass on the southern corner of the school near the parking lot, some small fragments. Law enforcement officers are working to try and determine what the fragments are from and if they have burn marks on them.

I want to emphasize that police say there was never any imminent danger to our school or campus.”

“It was enough to freak me out,” Brandon Seymour told FOX31. “I got four kids and two of them are in school and I’m really nervous about the school year this year.”

Seymour was headed home from a walk around the neighborhood when he found the device at the school.

“I saw this white thing sticking out of the ground,” he said. “It looked like a piece of PVC pipe that had two caps on it and then the middle was all charred and burned.”

Seymour says the device smelled like gun powder, so he took it home, put it in a baggie and called police.

“I couldn’t be any more thankful that I found it. My kids go and play there sometimes. They ride their bikes there. This is the last thing that I want my kids to go and find,” he said.

Denver police have not been able to confirm what the device is, its purpose or if it was intentionally left at the school. They do say, however, that there is no obvious sign that it was ignited in the location where it was found.

Last week, racist graffiti was found painted on the playground at the same school.

The letter sent home to parents reiterated that safety is the school’s top priority. They will have extra security over the next several days as a precaution.

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