Suspicious device detonated, Hwy. 19 reopened

Bomb squads successfully detonated a suspicious device found inside a delinquent storage unit in Zachary. Zachary Police Chief David McDavid said what's left of the device will now be further analyzed by investigators.

Highway 19 reopened to traffic around 8:30 PM. It had been closed just north of Pride-Port Hudson Rd. since about 3 PM.

Earlier Saturday the owner of Advanced Mini Storage cut the lock on the unit and found a suspicious device inside a briefcase. The owner is now working with police to track down the person who had rented the unit. His last visit to Advanced Mini Storage was in July.

Officers shut down Hwy. 19 about a half mile north of Pride-Port Hudson Rd. out of an abundance of caution, McDavid said. 10 to 15 nearby homes were also evacuated.

Bomb squads from the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office and the Baton Rouge Police Department were called in to investigate. Two robots successfully removed the device from the storage unit, McDavid said. Without describing the item in detail, McDavid said it was "of concern."

McDavid added that the device could have been a police training tool since other police gear was found in the same unit.

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