‘Grenade’ left in donation box at Ocean County church
OCEAN TOWNSHIP (Ocean) — The State Police Bomb Squad was called in on Sunday morning when a "grenade" was left in the donation box at an Ocean County church the morning after two mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton that left 29 people dead.
A man who called police "reported finding a grenade in the area of the church and subsequently placing it in the donation box because he thought it was a toy," police said.
An investigation into the incident at the Waretown United Methodist Church was immediately started by police, who evacuated the area around the church on Bryant Road, citing the "safety of our residents and visitors" as their number-one priority.
The Ocean Township Police Department Criminal Investigations Division, Ocean County Sheriff’s Department, and the New Jersey State Police Bomb Squad Unit all responded to the church and determined the item was, in fact, a toy.
The church moved its 9 a.m. service to the Waretown Dock but was able to hold its 11 a.m. service at the church.
"Thankful for our wonderful police department and all agencies involved for their response and concern for our safety in our neighborhood and church," the church wrote on its Facebook page.
No charges have been filed in connection with the grenade.
At least 27 people were treated for injuries in Dayton early Sunday morning after a shooter opened fire in a popular nightlife area and was quickly killed by police. Authorities said nine people were killed, not including the shooter.
Shots were fired Saturday morning in an El Paso shopping area packed with thousands of people during the busy back-to-school season, killing 20 and injuring more than two dozen, many of them critically.
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