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Library evacuated, school on alert due to bombing suspect fears

GOFFSTOWN – The Goffstown Public Library was evacuated and the nearby Maple Avenue Elementary School was put into a shelter-in-place mode on Friday, April 19, as police responded to reports that a man matching the description of the Boston Marathon bomber was called in.

Goffstown police Capt. Rob Browne said two merchants called to report a man matching the description of the suspected bombers which had been released to the public the previous evening.

“It was so close proximity (in appearance),” said Browne, of video captured by one merchant on a closed circuit television recording.

Calls to the police began about 9 that morning, and by 1:30 p.m., police were at the library, where a sighting had been reported.

“I did not call the police,” said librarian Dianne Hathaway. “The person was at the library for hours, causing no problems.”

As a precaution, said Browne, the library was evacuated and it was determined the man in the video was not the person Boston was searching for, but rather someone who had been recently backpacking. The school was on alert for about an hour while police cleared the library.

“There were a lot of scary moments that day,” said Browne.

He also said the library staff handled the situation professionally.

“The library staff were so great,” he said. “They were understanding and swift. They are a professional and dedicated staff that helped us very fast.”

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The Goffstown News
The Bedford Bulletin
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Christine Heiser, Executive Editor
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