U.S. Schools Receive Copycat Threats in Wake of Va. Tech Massacre
LOS ANGELES – In the aftermath of the Virginia Tech tragedy, schools and universities across the nation have received several threats, leading many officials to evacuate or lockdown their campuses.
St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, was forced to close April 17 when it received a nonspecific bomb threat. The San Francisco-based University of California (UC) Hastings College of the Law evacuated hundreds of students when an Internet posting referred to UC Hastings and Virginia Tech.
Eight buildings at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis were evacuated April 18 after the school received a bomb threat. Another bomb threat closed the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. San Diego State University received a threat, which indicated a Virginia Tech-type assault was imminent. The threat was later deemed a false alarm, and the school was not shut down.
K-12 campuses have also been affected. Graffiti at Vista Murrieta High School in Murrieta, Calif., said that on April 20 – the eighth anniversary of the Columbine shootings in Littleton, Colo. – “everyone will die” and “the bombs are already planted.” Despite this, no lockdown was ordered.
Three schools in Denver received bomb threats or threats against specific individuals, causing one school to be locked down, one to be evacuated and the third to be on security alert.
On April 19, all 36 campuses in 12 Northern California school districts were put under lockdown while police looked for Jeffery Thomas Carney, 28, who said he was planning an attack that would “make Virginia Tech look mild.” Several schools in Detroit were put on high alert after threats that also referred to the Virginia Tech massacre were found in bathrooms at two schools.