Gearshift grenade at Chico High

Chico High lockdown ends when bomb threat turns out to be a false alarm

Chico High School buildings along West Sacramento Avenue were evacuated and locked down on Monday, April 23, due to a hand grenade look-alike found in a Chico State student’s car.

Kayla Bumgardner, 21, told police someone had burglarized her car—which was parked across the street from Chico High—and left what appeared to be a hand grenade in the driver’s seat, according to multiple media sources. Police closed West Sacramento Avenue from The Esplanade to Hobart Street and evacuated houses nearest her vehicle and some 500 Chico High students, moving them elsewhere on campus. In buildings farthest from the vehicle, classes resumed as usual.

At 9:40 a.m., the Butte County Interagency Bomb Squad arrived and determined the object was non-explosive and possibly an ornamental gearshift knob. Police lifted the lockdown at 10:10 a.m.