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Suspicious backpack prompts closing of Carnegie Building in Falls

NIAGARA FALLS – A suspicious package that turned out to be a harmless backpack put Niagara Falls police and the State Police bomb squad on high alert Tuesday morning.

A few hours later, the unrelated discovery of a .22-caliber bullet and a casing at two Starpoint schools in Pendleton resulted in a precautionary lockout at the schools. There were no shootings and no injuries.

Niagara Falls Police Superintendent E. Bryan DalPorto said officers were called to the city’s Community Development offices in the Carnegie Building on Main Street after an employee found the backpack there at 7:30 a.m.

“We erred on the side of caution and called out the State Police bomb squad,” DalPorto said. “Using their robot, they were able to determine that it was not a bomb, but a backpack.”

After it was determined that there was no threat, the building was opened to the public at about 11 a.m., according to Mayor Paul A. Dyster.

In Pendleton, the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office searched Starpoint schools, and the school was put in lockout mode, closing all doors to the public, after the bullet was found in front of the elementary school and the casing was later found in the middle school.

The search and lockout ended at about 1:30 p.m. Nothing else was found in the school.

— Nancy A. Fischer

Bomb scare puts police on high alert in Falls