Shelter-in-Place Ordered at Great Falls, MT School After IED Found on Campus


A Helena, Montana elementary school was ordered to shelter-in-place after an improvised explosive device (IED) was discovered and detonated at the school. The homemade device was identified as duct tape-wrapped soda bottle and was quickly exploded on the school playground. Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton said that nobody was injured when the was explosive detonated on Tuesday morning. According to authorities, no threats had been made to the Rossiter Elementary School prior to the IED being found.

In addition to the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI, the Lewis and Clark County bomb squad, Montana Highway Patrol, Helena Police Department and the ATF were on all on the scene.

The shelter-in-place order extended to several other schools and districts in the area. Great Falls Police Department contacted other Great Falls Public Schools to conduct immediate searches of school grounds, according to GFPS superintendent Tom Moore. As a precaution, other schools were also placed under a shelter in place order. The Cascade County Sheriff’s Office also placed rural schools in the county in shelter-in-place status.

The order was lifted around noon after authorities searched the campus and found no other suspicious devices. Law enforcement officers will remain on site as normal activities resume at the school.