The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Doug Emhoff, husband of vice president, evacuated from D.C. school after bomb threat

Second gentleman Doug Emhoff is escorted out of an event at D.C.'s Dunbar High School in response to a security threat. Dunbar Principal Nadine Smith is on the right. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Harris, was evacuated from a D.C. public school on Tuesday afternoon after a bomb threat was called in to the front desk, warning that people had 10 minutes to leave, authorities said.

Police evacuated and searched Dunbar High School in the Truxton Circle neighborhood of Northwest Washington and said they found nothing hazardous.

Ashan M. Benedict, executive assistant chief of D.C. police, told reporters the threat was called in about 2:15 p.m.

He said Emhoff’s Secret Service detail was notified immediately. Inside the school, an agent was heard telling Emhoff, “We have to go.” Benedict said Emhoff left the building at 2:18 p.m. A schoolwide announcement followed, directing staff members to evacuate everyone from the facility.

Students were sent home, but teachers remained on the football field as police dogs and bomb technicians checked the building. At 4:40 p.m., police tweeted an all-clear for the school and reopened surrounding roads.

“There is no ongoing threat to the Dunbar facility,” Benedict said.

The second gentleman was escorted from the school by Secret Service while participating in a Black History Month event on Feb. 8. (Video: AP)

Emhoff was visiting the Museum of Dunbar History at the school, learning about a Black history program in partnership with the National Park Service. According to its website, Dunbar was the first public high school to serve African Americans in the United States.

“Mr. Emhoff is safe and the school has been evacuated,” tweeted Katie Peters, Emhoff’s communications director. “We are grateful to Secret Service and D.C. Police for their work.”

The Secret Service issued a statement saying the agency had no information that the threat “was directed toward our protectee.” The agency declined to elaborate on “means and methods used to conduct our protective operations.”

Dunbar Principal Nadine Smith said administrators followed the necessary procedures upon learning of the security threat.

“Our protocol is to clear the building and move the kids away,” she said. “[D.C. Public Schools] just gave us directions to make sure, to go ahead and send the kids home.”

Benedict said investigators do not think the bomb threat to Dunbar is related to recent threats made to historically Black colleges and universities, which have caused significant disruptions on campuses in and around the District and across the country.

Benedict said investigators are working with the FBI to determine who is responsible. He said detectives are looking into the phone call and “the number that was used to call it in.”

He said no suspect or person of interest has been identified.

Perry Stein contributed to this report.

Loading...