Aurora Police: Corn starch was powder in backpack that caused Smoky Hill High School evacuation

14-year-old male student detained, police say

AURORA, Colo. - Aurora Police said corn starch was the white powder that forced the evacuation of Smoky Hill High School on Friday, and a 14-year-old male student has been detained.

Police said that the school was thoroughly search and no other suspicious substances were found.

Aurora Police originally tweeted the evacuation was due to an "isolated HazMat situation," but police spokesman Sgt. Chris Amsler later clarified that it involved a white powder. He also reported that the suspicious male was detained inside the school.

Police said at around 10:45 a.m. several students observed a fellow male student in the hallway of the school. He was bent over an open backpack and was trying to ignite a white powder that was inside of it. The students who became alarmed immediately notified school staff who then called police.

The 14-year-old boy was subsequently found and detained.

A hazardous materials team was called to the building to evaluate the powder. Police said the powder tested positive for corn starch.

No students or faculty were injured, police and the school district said.

Cherry Creek School District spokeswoman Tustin Amole originally said students would be taken to Laredo Middle School, but when 7NEWS arrived students were being dismissed from their own campus.

Photos tweeted by several students and the student newspaper, Smoky Now, show the students gathering on the school's track during the evacuation.

The school is located at 16100 E Smoky Hill Rd.

Detectives and fire Investigators said they believe the suspect was trying to "blow a fireball" which is the act of blowing corn starch into an open flame to cause it to flare up. Since the suspect in this case is a juvenile authorities said they will not be releasing his name or any additional details about him.

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