Mis­souri teens charged with making ter­ror­ist threats, tar­get­ing cam­puses

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - WORLD -

COLUMBIA: Three 19- year- old Mis­souri men have been charged with making ter­ror­ist threats on so­cial me­dia about shoot­ing peo­ple at col­lege cam­puses in the state and two of them talked about tar­get­ing black peo­ple.

One of the three, Hunter M Park of Lake St Louis, who al­legedly made threats against the Univer­sity of Mis­souri, was de­nied bail on Thurs­day, and court doc­u­ments said he ex­pressed a “deep in­ter­est” in a re­cent Ore­gon school mas­sacre that left 10 dead, in­clud­ing the shooter.

The oth­ers are Tyler Braden­berg of St Louis and Con­nor Stot­tle­myre, a stu­dent at North­west Mis­souri State Univer­sity, Maryville, who po­lice said were both charged on Thurs­day. Park and Stot­tle­myre are white, while Braden­berg’s race was not im­me­di­ately known.

The threats were all made on so­cial me­dia, in­clud­ing on the mes­sag­ing ap­pli­ca­tion Yik Yak, over the last three days, po­lice said.

Park ap­peared in Boone County Cir­cuit Court on Thurs­day days af­ter two of the school’s top ad­min­is­tra­tors re­signed af­ter protests over their han­dling of racial in­ci­dents on the main Columbia cam­pus.

Po­lice said Park’s threats had cir­cu­lated on so­cial me­dia, in­clud­ing on Yik Yak, where an anony­mous post tagged “Columbia” late on Tues­day read: “I’m go­ing to stand my ground tomorrow and shoot ev­ery black per­son I see.”

Park was ar­rested on Wed­nes­day at the Mis­souri Univer­sity of Science and Tech­nol­ogy (S&T) in Rolla, where he is­study­ing com­puter science. S&T is part of the Univer­sity of Mis­souri Sys­tem and Rolla is about 153km south of Columbia.

Stot­tle­myre was charged on Thurs­day in No­d­away County Cir­cuit Court with making ter­ror­ist threats, a felony. Ac­cord­ing to a crim­i­nal com­plaint, he posted a threat on Yik Yak on Wed­nes­day say­ing: “I’m gonna shoot any black ppl tomorrow so be ready,” and “I love evil, I can’t wait for North­west to make the news tomorrow.”

Braden­berg, a for­mer S&T stu­dent, also was charged with making a ter­ror­ist threat af­ter al­legedly making an anony­mous post on Yik Yak on Wed­nes­day stat­ing: “I’m gonna shoot up this school,” ac­cord­ing to an S&T state­ment.

It was not know if Braden­berg was in cus­tody. Braden­berg used tech­nol­ogy to make it ap­pear as if the threat was com­ing from S&T, but it was ac­tu­ally posted from St Louis, S&T said.

The Univer­sity of Mis­souri tur­moil has raised ten­sions on US univer­sity cam­puses where marches or walk­outs have taken place this week as stu­dents protest at what they see as school of­fi­cials’ le­nient ap­proach to racial abuse.

Hun­dreds of stu­dents on sev­eral US cam­puses wore all-black cloth­ing on Thurs­day in a show of sol­i­dar­ity.

Also on Thurs­day, mes­sages were posted on­line threat­en­ing to mur­der stu­dents at the his­tor­i­cally black col­lege Howard Univer­sity in Wash­ing­ton. Howard pres­i­dent Wayne Fred­er­ick said his school was work­ing with law en­force­ment and had in­creased cam­pus se­cu­rity.

“We do see this as a grow­ing na­tional prob­lem,” Fred­er­ick told CNN. – Reuters

PIC­TURE: AP

SOL­I­DAR­ITY: Palca Shibale leads a rally through Ode­gaard Li­brary at the Univer­sity of Wash­ing­ton in Seat­tle to show sol­i­dar­ity with the black com­mu­nity and stu­dents at the Univer­sity of Mis­souri, Columbia.

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