Suspect in shooting threat in police custody; arraignment set for tomorrow

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A suspect in Saturday’s (Oct. 11) threat involving a possible shooting at Penn State’s HUB at noon on Monday on the University Park campus is in police custody tonight and will be charged with one count of terroristic threats. The arrest comes just hours after police notified the community of the potential threat via its emergency alert system, PSUAlert.

The suspect, a 20-year-old student living off-campus, was placed under arrest by University Police and has admitted to posting a threatening message on the social media platform Yik Yak. Yik Yak allows users to make anonymous comments that can only be seen by others within a 1.5 mile radius, making it popular with college students.

Police worked with Yik Yak officials to confirm the mobile device used to post the note and the location of the suspect, whose name is not yet being released until he is arraigned tomorrow morning. Police searched his residence and no weapons were found.

University Police were told of the threat by students who had seen the posting online. While the posting was removed within minutes, some students had managed to grab a screen capture of the threat. Police then spent several hours tracking its source and credibility.

The suspect reportedly has told police that the threatening post, which indicated he would bring assault rifles to the student union building at noon on Monday and “kill everyone in Penn State main” was a “prank,” however Police Chief Tyrone Parham said these issues are taken very seriously and do result in criminal prosecution.

“Alarming an entire community is not considered a joke. It’s considered a terroristic threat in this case and this individual will be held accountable,” Parham said.

More information will be available following the filing of charges, Parham said. All University Park campus operations will continue as normal on Monday. Anyone with additional questions can call University Police at 814-863-1111.

Last Updated October 14, 2014