The Concord District Court building as seen Thursday morning. Photo by Celeste Katz Marston

District Court evacuated over threat 

January 4, 2024

By Celeste Katz Marston 

Authorities evacuated the District Court building Thursday morning after court officials received a emailed bomb threat, adding Concord to a cascade of U.S. and Massachusetts cities and towns that have dealt with ominous messages in recent days.  

“We are aware of threats made to multiple courthouses. We take any threat of this nature very seriously and we are collaborating with State Police to investigate,” Jennifer Donahue, a court spokesperson, told The Concord Bridge via email.  

“At this time, it has been determined that the threats received are not credible.” 

A motorist who contacted the Bridge about the incident Thursday morning reported seeing a major public safety presence outside the court building at 305 Walden Street. The court serves Concord, Carlisle, Lincoln, Lexington, Bedford, Acton, Maynard and Stow. 

The court building is located at 305 Walden Street. Photo by Celeste Katz Marston

According to Concord Police Lt. Timothy Landers, the incident unfolded starting at approximately 10 a.m., per an officer who was at the building on court business.

“The initial report that we got was [that] it was an email bomb threat to the courthouse, and that this had gone on statewide — that there were multiple court buildings in the Commonwealth that received these threats,” Landers told The Bridge.

The Concord Police and Fire Departments responded, as did Massachusetts State Police — including a bomb technician trooper who happened to be in the area and came in to sweep the courthouse for threats, Landers said.

Concord Police cleared the scene at approximately 11:15 a.m., Landers said, and State Police continue to investigate.

Via email, Massachusetts State Police Trooper Brandon Doherty said MSP is “aware of numerous emailed robo-threats to courthouses, hospitals, synagogues, and other institutions in Massachusetts and across the country. They are all similar in nature and all have proven to be hoaxes thus far. The threats are believed to all be coming from the same source.”

Doherty said the MSP bomb squad “has responded to a few locations to conduct sweeps at the request of local police.”

To the southeast, The Nantucket Current reported Thursday that an emailed bomb threat to the local probate court also led to an evacuation.   

Nationally, government buildings have seen an onslaught of menacing messages that have spurred disruptions and evacuations this week.  

Security threats were logged Wednesday in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma and South Dakota, The Washington Post reported.