A pipe bomb discovered Thursday at Hennepin Technical College in Brooklyn Park prompted an immediate evacuation and shutdown of the campus.
Police destroyed the bomb to render it safe and will continue to investigate whether it was functional and who was behind it.
“It was intentionally made to be destructive,” said Brooklyn Park Deputy Chief Mark Bruley. But it’s unclear whether it had the capacity to detonate on its own, he said.
The bomb, which was found in a common area near administrative offices, consisted of a steel pipe full of shrapnel, Bruley said. The ends were capped and wires were hanging out, he said.
“This is a college campus where someone intentionally left a device to instill fear in others,” Bruley said. “And that’s very concerning. And now it’s our job to figure out why they did that and who did it, and hold them accountable.
The college immediately shut down about 11:30 a.m. after a report about a “suspicious package.” There was some confusion initially because the campus inadvertently sent out an alert regarding an active shooter rather than one regarding a suspicious package.
The Brooklyn Park campus remained closed throughout the day. Evening classes also were canceled while four bomb-sniffing dogs and investigators searched the campus.
The college’s Eden Prairie campus was not affected.
The Brooklyn Park campus is expected to reopen Friday.
“Although many questions remain, there is absolutely no doubt that Hennepin Technical College remains a place of hope and opportunity for all of our students,” college President Merrill Irving Jr. said in a written statement. “I am proud of our response and am grateful to the Brooklyn Park police and the Minneapolis Bomb Squad for their prompt and professional response. We remain fully committed to the safety of our faculty, staff, and students, and we continue our work with law enforcement in their ongoing investigation.”