Suspicious device found outside Yakima County casino

TOPPENISH, Wash. -- A bomb scare closed Yakima Nation Legends Casino for most of the day Tuesday. The casino announced earlier on Twitter it hoped to reopen Tuesday night.

A worker found the suspicious device outside the casino. The Yakama Nation wasn't taking any chances.

Buildings on lockdown. 700 people evacuated. No one was allowed to play games inside Legends Casino.

"There's police tape everywhere, and the police are waving us off," Johnathan Ashby said.

Ashby drove here from Yakima today. But he, like so many others, was turned away.

"Big bummer, wanted to do something," Ashby said. "I've worked all week."

The chairman of the Yakama Nation Tribal Council wasn't taking any chances while the WSP bomb squad was called in from the Tri-Cities.

"It's always better to err on the side of caution, you know, because you never know when these devices could be real or not real," Harry Smiskin, the Yakama Nation Chairman said. "And, you've seen that throughout the United States, where they didn't take it seriously and you suffer serious consequences for that."

There was a huge law enforcement presence to keep the public safe, including Yakama Nation officers, the Yakima Sheriff's Office, and federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as the FBI. The bomb squad robot wheeled close to the device.

Media was moved away in case of an explosion. The device was tipped and the scene was cleared.

"You don't know where it could be at or if it's true," Ashby said. "It could just happen anywhere."

A Yakama Nation spokesperson tells me the last time this serious of a call was necessary was about three years ago. It still hasn't been announced what the suspicious device was.