The Shafter Press - Serving the community since 1922

By Jamie Stewart
The Shafter Press 

Sometimes, it's just a bottle


October 17, 2019 | View PDF

Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

The robotic arm grabs the unknown device seconds before the explosion by a controlled detonation performed by the KCSO Bomb Squad.

A five-gallon water bottle first referred to as a "suspicious device" caused a stir near the Shafter Courthouse on Friday before it was determined to more decorative than anything else.

The Kern County Sheriff's Office Bomb Squad Unit was deployed to Shafter Friday when the bottle was found in a dumpster between the Shafter Courthouse and the Omni Health Medical Clinic on James Street.

At approximately 9:30 a.m. Friday morning, the Bomb Squad arrived to investigate.

Once the robot had inspected the device, the device was detonated.

Asked if the device was armed, Chief Kevin Zimmermann said, "The device was detonated by the Bomb Squad. We will not know if the device was armed until the evidence has been analyzed. But, there was no secondary explosion when it was detonated, so it was likely not armed.

Jamie Stewart | The Shafter Press

Member of the KCSO Bomb Squad is dressed in protective gear to examine the device.

"A call was made to the Shafter Police Department by a worker at the clinic about a suspicious device found in the dumpster between their building and the courthouse. According to Chief Zimmermann, the device was a five-gallon water container with a cell phone and wires attached to it.

The courthouse was evacuated, as well as everyone in the 300 block of James Street, with the alleys and streets blocked off. Zimmermann called the Bomb Squad Unit, and they arrived to investigate. A Bomb Squad Unit member was dressed in protective gear to investigate further as well as activating the robot equipped with a camera to approach the device.

Chief Zimmermann reported Wednesday morning that there were no explosives involved, and the incident was not being treated as a crime.


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