A small private college roughly 85 miles north of New York City, Marist College, canceled classes and put the school on lockdown Friday after they received an online, anonymous post threatening an on campus shooting, a spokesperson for Marist said.
The small liberal arts college, which contains about 6,400 students, in upstate New York tweeted Friday that the “College is closed and classes have been cancelled until further notice.”
Students: Please take the Marist Alert very seriously. When we get more information we will let you know, but please stay inside for now.
— Marist Student Gov. (@MaristSGA) November 13, 2015
The Poughkeepsie Police Department was looking into the threat, which was posted via Twitter overnight, according to Marist spokesman Greg Cannon, Reuters reports. “It was something about a shooting, that there would be some kind of shooting on campus,” Cannon said.
After consulting with police, Marist sent an alert to students, faculty and staff at 7 a.m. Friday. They told students to stay in their dorms and that classes were canceled.
Cannon said that police are investigating who created the Twitter post. Poughkeepsie Police Department released the following statement Friday:
“At approximately 6:00 am on Friday November 13, 2015 the Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department was notified by the Marist College Office of Safety & Security that an online threat was sent out via Twitter against Marist College.
An investigation is currently under way in cooperation with Twitter, college officials and other law enforcement agencies. In addition, there is a police presence on the campus. Marist College has cancelled classes for today until further notice and will update as necessary.”
Cannon added that there were not any racial undertones to the threat, unlike recent incidents at other U.S. colleges. Racial turmoil ensued at the University of Missouri, when three men were arrested for threatening to shoot black people, according to Reuters. Additionally, messages were posted on the internet threatening to kill students at Howard University, a historically African-American school.