KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — One person was taken into custody after police said he made a bomb threat the WWMT television station in Kalamazoo Thursday afternoon.
A Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety spokesman said that a 36-year-old Greenville man entered the building on Maple Street near S. Westnedge Avenue, just south of downtown, and said he had a bomb in his backpack and wanted to die.
WWMT assistant news director Jon McCrary said that the station’s chief engineer, George Markle, locked the man in the lobby.
“The gentleman showed up in our lobby and threatened violence. Our chief engineer met him at the door. He was able to push his way into our lobby. Our engineer bolted the door. Then we called the police,” McCrary said.
He said all employees were able to evacuate safely.
“We got everyone out of the building. We cleared the building in less than a couple of minutes. We are very fortunate that nothing happened and that all of our staff is safe and sound,” said McCrary.
Police were called and negotiators were able to make contact with the person inside the lobby.
“They talked to the person, locked inside the lobby actually, for about an hour and a half or two hours … And ultimately it was a peaceful resolution,” KDPS spokesman Jay Shatara said.
Around 4:30 p.m., a live stream on Facebook from WWMT anchor Andy Dominianni showed a man exit the building and be taken into custody by police without incident.
After the man was taken into custody, the bomb squad searched the building with the aid of a robot. KDPS said no explosives were found. His backpack contained a phone charger and some other wires, according to police.
Police said Thursday’s incident highlights the importance of having a plan in place for these types of emergencies.
—News 8’s Demetrios Sanders contributed to this report.