Confirmed explosive device forces Wildomar school lock down, road closure
WILDOMAR, Calif. — Authorities say the discovery of an explosive device on a Wildomar trail led to the temporary lock down of a local elementary school yesterday morning, Thursday, May 27. The device, described as a pipe bomb, was found in the 32000 block of Wildomar Trail, near the intersection of Illinois Street.
Officials have since said that although the device did contain explosive materials, “the metal on the device appeared weathered” leading bomb squad members to determine that the device had likely been discarded at the location “some time ago.”
LEADING THE RCNS HEADLINES:
Deputies assigned to the Lake Elsinore Sheriff’s Station responded to the scene just before 9 a.m. after a citizen found what appeared to be a pipe bomb on a trail near Wildomar Elementary School, Riverside Sheriff’s Sergeant Collazo has since said of the incident and lock down.
When deputies arrived they located the device and confirmed it appeared to be a pipe bomb.
A Sheriff’s robot, such as the two seen in this photo, was used to inspect and later detonate a confirmed explosive device found near Wildomar Elementary School yesterday morning. Shannon McClymont/SCNS stock photo
Deputies evacuated the immediate area and temporarily called for the elementary school to be locked down for safety reasons. They also closed Wildomar Trail to through traffic, diverting motorists and curious onlookers away from the danger zone.
The discovery caused Wildomar’s City Hall to release a social media notification regarding the incident. The post read in-part, “There is police activity near Wildomar Elementary and the school has been placed on lockdown for safety precautions only. There is no immediate threat to the school. We will keep you updated.”
After fielding numerous concerned phone calls, City Hall updated their post to add in-part, “We just want to reiterate that there is no threat to the school or the children/staff. The police activity is outside of the school.”
As the lock down continued into the next hour and Sheriff’s Hazard Device Team (HDT) members and other resources responded to the scene, at around 10 a.m. the elementary school sent out a notification to all parents via text messages and Parent Square that the ongoing investigation was continuing to necessitate the continued lock down of the campus.
Just a short time later, school administrators called for classes to be cancelled for the day, at which time arrangements began for the children already at the school to be picked up. Afternoon classes for children not yet at the school were also cancelled.
According to Collazo, when HDT members arrived they verified the device did in fact contain explosives and rendered the device safe.
Once the device had been detonated and removed from the area and HDT members conducted a safety sweep of the area, officials re-opened Wildomar Trail and lifted the lock down at the school.
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No injuries related to the incident were reported and the Sheriff’s investigation is continuing.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to contact the Lake Elsinore Station at (951) 245-3300 or dispatch at (951) 776-1099. Callers can refer to incident file number WI211470013 and can remain anonymous.
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Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).
Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.