Boston, MA — Boston’s federal courthouse was evacuated on Wednesday amid rumors that police had identified and arrested a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.
The arrest rumor turned out to be false, though authorities later confirmed they had video or photos of a person leaving a backpack near the spot of one of the bombings.
The Boston courthouse was evacuated on Wednesday afternoon after an apparent bomb threat. Witnesses added that guards at the courthouse called the situation a “code red.”
At the time of the evacuation, at lest one hearing was taking place and several media outlets were gathered outside in anticipation of a possible announcement about the arrested suspect. But police moved the crowd about 100 yards away from the building as they swept it.
Hundreds of people poured out of the courthouse building during that time, including courthouse staff, lawyers, attorneys, and two cribs with young children inside them. The building also houses a daycare facility.
Just one hour after the courthouse was evacuated, a security officer walked out of the building waving a green flag. A court official later confirmed that the court house was open again, but only to employees.
The police have not commented on what caused the Boston courthouse evacuation, other than rumors that it was a bomb scare. The city has been on high alert for the past two days as FBI, Homeland Security, and the Boston Police Department work together to find the suspects of the Boston Marathon bombings.
The explosions happened as several runners crossed the finish line at the country’s oldest marathon. Three people died in the bombing and more than 170 were injured. Since then, authorities have evacuated and searched several places, including the courthouse and a portion of a hospital where some of the bombing victims remain.
Nikki Credic-Barrett, a spokeswoman for the US Marshals Service in Washington, D.C., confirmed the bomb threat and security sweep at the federal courthouse on Wednesday afternoon.
[Image via Danielle Walquist]