Missouri teens charged with making terrorist threats, targeting campuses
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
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.