On Monday, August 29, anonymous threats were received in various Virginia Tech email accounts. The emails claimed that a mass shooting was going to take place on Wednesday, on the school’s main campus.
A copy of the threatening email was forwarded to The Roanoke Times.“I am here to inform that in the next couple of days I will break into the campus and [I] will kill as many people as I can until the police arrives,” stated the email.
On Tuesday, Virginia Tech spokesman Mark Owczarski said the threat had been sent to students and faculty at four universities. Virginia Tech officials quickly alerted the campus community after the emails were received. Classes and other activities continued but discussions were conducted with students in various settings for their ideas on how to proceed.
Wednesday’s update on the situation said that normal operations are continuing, but Virginia Tech officials urged everyone on campus to “remain aware of their surroundings” and to report anything suspicious to campus police. The emails do not appear to have a local source, according to university officials.
In an update posted on Virginia Tech’s website, the university police department said that the threats sent Monday to dozens of Virginia Tech email addresses are similar to ones reported in incidents across the United States.
State and federal authorities will continue to investigate the threats. According to WRIC, a faculty member at Michigan Technological University received a threatening email that is similar to the email threats received at Virginia Tech. Michigan Tech spokeswoman, Jennifer Donovan stated last Thursday that the similarity of the threat must link it to the threats made against the Virginia Tech campus.
Campus police at the College of William and Mary have reported that someone on their campus also received a threatening email that is similar to those emailed to Virginia Tech. Campus police at Virginia Tech are still investigating the source of the threatening emails, as well as the emails sent to the College of William and Mary and Michigan Technological University.