UPDATE as of 7:29 p.m. The package, which was outside the King County Regional Justice Center in Kent, was not a bomb, officials said after it was safely exploded by the King County Sheriff’s Office bomb squad.
At about noon, a woman threw a bag into a secure entrance to the King County Jail used by staff and then ran, said Cmdr. William Hayes, spokesman for the King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention. The woman threw the bag when the door was open, and a bystander inside kicked it back out and immediately shut the door, he said.
King County Sheriff’s Office bomb squad officials x-rayed the package before they destroyed it to try to figure out what was inside without moving it, but were not able to determine if it was a bomb without exploding it themselves, Hayes said.
They did find a woman’s ID inside, Hayes said, and the Kent Police Department is following up on the lead.
The jail was on lockdown as crews investigated, which took until about 2:30 p.m., Hayes said.
The part of the building adjacent to the package was briefly evacuated when experts exploded the bag.
INITIAL POST: King County sheriff’s deputies are investigating a suspicious package found this afternoon outside the Kent courthouse.
The bomb squad is examining the package at the Maleng Regional Justice Center.