Mrachek Middle School evacuated, then closed after failed pipe bomb found outside school

AURORA, Colo. - Students were evacuated and classes were canceled at Mrachek Middle School on Monday after a failed pipe bomb was found at the school. Investigators say they have "very good video" of the suspects.

The unexploded device was found outside the school in Aurora, in an alcove between two brick buildings at 8:40 a.m., according to Capt. Wendy Lippman with the Aurora Fire Department.

Lippman said it appeared that the suspects attempted to detonate the bomb, but it did not explode.

"They thought they had the right pieces and parts in combination, but they were unsuccessful in making it explode," Lippman said. "They tried to start it on fire to detonate it and all they did was light it on fire and it burned itself out."

Security video at the school showed the suspects outside the school on Saturday around 6:30 p.m.

"They have very good video of the suspects," Lippman said. "The school is working with our fire investigators on identification, but as far as images go, they are very clear."

Lippman said after the school was evacuated, the Arapahoe County bomb squad, along with a Denver Police bomb-detecting dog, searched the school for secondary devices.

The school was cleared, Lippman said.

Aurora Schools sent a statement to 7NEWS that said:

This morning, we received a report of a suspicious device outside of Mrachek Middle School. As a precaution, we have evacuated the school. Student safety is a top priority in Aurora Public Schools, and we are cooperating fully with the police, including the officers who are investigating the matter. We are asking parents not to come to the school because many streets in the area have been closed. If possible, please share this information: We will provide parents with information via a phone call shortly.

The students were initially evacuated to the ball fields. Just after 10 a.m, the students were sent to Rangeview High School and Mrachek was closed.

Aurora Public Schools said parents may pick up students at the high school at 12:30 p.m. and that an automated phone system is calling parents to update them on the situation.

The new school year started last Tuesday.

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