Vivint Smart Home Arena, home to the Utah Jazz, was evacuated late on Friday night due to a suspicious package that was left near a restaurant, according to Andy Larsen of the Salt Lake Tribune.
Shortly after Utah’s 113-109 win against the Golden State Warriors on Friday night, a bomb-sniffing dog “gave a positive signal to a package” that was left near the El Chubasco restaurant inside the arena, according to Larsen.
The building was then evacuated, along with the surrounding area.
Some players didn’t shower, everyone was told to get dressed right away. Calm evacuation so far. Seems precautionary. Standing in the players’ parking lot now, trying to get more info.— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) November 23, 2019
A bomb-sniffing dog gave a positive signal to a package left near the El Chubasco restaurant, I’m told. Told it could be 3 hours or more until Vivint Arena is cleared. They’re clearing the whole block of people now.— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) November 23, 2019
Salt Lake City Police Lt. Carlos Valencia initially said that it was a shoe box that was left under a table at the restaurant, and that one of their dogs “got a hit on it,” which is what prompted the evacuation.
An update from SLCPD Lt. Carlos Valencia: at about 9:30, a suspicious shoe box was found near El Chubasco. Bomb sniffing dog gave a positive signal. They evacuated the arena. Bomb squad doesn’t yet know what it is, but expect to have it cleared in about an hour. pic.twitter.com/8KgQR8y2Va— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) November 23, 2019
“So around 9:30 p.m. I received a call from one of our uniform officers working part time at the Jazz game, and he informed me that there was a suspicious shoe box under the table where people eat at the Chubascos restaurant,” Valencia said. “After I received the call, I followed procedure to have the area closed off from pedestrians in case of a detonation. We don’t know if it’s anything explosive. So far what we have is just a suspicious package. Following the protocol, it’s my job to contact the bomb squad and render the device safe.
“We also have the arena K-9 bomb dogs that went around the package and got a hit on it. Based on that information, we need to proceed further and have our technicians out here and render this device safe.”
The bomb squad eventually determined that it was actually a toolbox, and that it was safe.
Getting preliminary word now that X-rays of the suspicious package gave the bomb squad confidence that the box was safe. They’re now leaving the building.— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) November 23, 2019
There was also a shooting Friday night at The Complex, an event venue in downtown Salt Lake City near the arena. That shooting, however, is unrelated to the package left at Vivint Smart Home Arena, police told Larsen.
The Jazz led the Warriors throughout nearly the entire contest on Friday night, though they almost saw their 21-point lead disappear late in the fourth quarter. Donovan Mitchell led Utah with 30 points while shooting 12-of-24 from the field, and Mike Conley added 27 points.
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