Jul 26, 2014
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Letter Referencing Colorado Shooting Prompts Nursing Home Lockdown

Woodcrest Center Nursing Home staff received a letter referencing Aurora, Colorado shootings; bomb squad and K-9 unit called in.

Letter Referencing Colorado Shooting Prompts Nursing Home Lockdown

The Bergen County Bomb Squad and K-9 units were called to the Woodcrest Center Nursing Home on River Road shortly before noon in response to a letter received by the staff Wednesday referencing the recent theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado. 

"A letter was sent to the staff in general referencing the recent events in Aurora," Police Chief Frank Papapietro said. "We are taking this very seriously and using every precaution."

According to Papapietro, the letter, addressed to no specific person, contained numerous clippings on the Aurora theater massacre taken from various newspapers and indicated that the person who wrote the letter was in possession of guns, knives and explosives. 

According to Papapietro, the "threatening, yet non-specific" handwritten letter was signed, but authorities are not releasing the name or the entire content of the letter. He did say that the postmark on the envelope was "from the area," but added that the location is not being disclosed at this time. He added that the letter was not dated.

The Bergen County OEM, along with the Bergen County Bomb Squad and K-9 Units, were at the scene. The Bergen County Prosecutor's Office of Counterterrorism and the New Jersey State Police Regional Operations Intelligence Center (ROIC) were notified and are assisting with the investigation. Additionally, United States Postal authorities and the Bergen County BCIU forensics are involved. 

Members of the bomb squad were scouring the perimeter of the building for any explosive devices, as well as checking the interior areas. The residents of the nursing home are confined to their rooms with staff to allow authorities to perform a thorough check of the facility. A K-9 was also brought inside the building as well.

Editor's note: Chief Papapietro said that authorities found no explosives, guns or knives in or around the building and the lockdown was lifted at approximately 2:45 p.m.

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