Suspicious package at SLC Courthouse

FORT PIERCE, FL (WFLX)  The St. Lucie County Clerk of the Circuit Court building was evacuated Friday afternoon and eight people were taken to a hospital when a suspicious package was delivered to a fourth-floor office, officials said.

The package was not addressed to an individual, said Chief Deputy Garry Wilson of the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office.

St. Lucie County Health Department officials took the package to Miami on Friday evening for testing, Wilson said. He declined to release any descriptive information about the package or what it contained.

Around 4 p.m. Friday, employees on the fourth floor inside the Clerk of Court building, 201 S. Indian River Drive, notified security staff of a suspicious package, Wilson said. Employees who were not on the fourth floor where the package was found were evacuated, Wilson said.

No members of the public were present in the location where the package was found.

Eight people who came in contact with the package were taken to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute in Fort Pierce as a precaution, Wilson said. Five of those were employees from the clerk's office and three were deputies stationed at the courthouse.

Officials closed off Atlantic Avenue between Second Street and South Indian River Drive. The closing did not affect any downtown businesses as they were open Friday night. Also, Wilson said, the incident will not affect Saturday morning's Fort Pierce Farmers' Market.

Officials said they did not suspect the package was related to the Jan. 3 incidents of suspicious packages containing a white, powdery substance at the National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce and the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office.

At the museum, one person was hospitalized after an unidentified white powder was found. On the same day in Palm Beach County, four people, including a fire-rescue worker, were hospitalized after a letter containing powder was opened in the mail room of State Attorney's Office.