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Elmhurst College Students Return After Threats Close School For Days

ELMHURST, Ill. (CBS) -- Students at one suburban college are heading back to class Wednesday, after frightening threats shut down campus for two days.

Some of those threats were found written in bathrooms at Elmhurst College. CBS 2's Steven Graves found out it has been an ongoing concern for students.

Some students have left campus completely, uneasy about what's happening. Others who stayed said they are just plain angry.

So worried and hurt, one Elmhurst College student who didn't want to show her face was also exhausted from the extensive questioning from police.

"They're asking us about other people and to pick someone and to pick someone that we think may have done it," she said.

But many students said they're at a loss for who it could be, after the threats shut down campus for two days.

Freshman Jack McGinnis lives in Niebuhr Hall where the investigation began.

"Like why did this happen? Like, why here," he asked.

School officials said last Tuesday, the words "shoot the school" and "shoot it up" were written on a bathroom stall in a residence hall. The day before, a student said she saw messages with the n-word, warding off students of color.

"We already have a stereotype upon us. So now we're actually here trying to get a degree and now you're saying we don't belong on this campus," said the student.

Police are now investigating more threats that happened this week. Some in the library. Students said the issue has only gotten worse.

"I know the campus was trying to keep it more quiet in the beginning, like we didn't really know a lot that was going on," said another student.

School officials declined an on-camera interview with CBS 2, but in a statement, the president said he hopes the student body will  grow from this and that "it's been a challenging and difficult week for all of us."

Students said they just want to have peace of mind and go to class, as campus police urge anyone with information to come forward.

On Tuesday evening, there was another scare -- though it turned out to be more of a misunderstanding. Elmhurst police were called for a report of a person possibly carrying a gun at Prospect Avenue and Walter Street on college property – which is a weapon free zone.

Police found the man, who turned out to be a concealed-carry license holder, according to Elmhurst College. The man was removed from campus without incident, and there was no threat to individuals, the college said.

The 48-year-old St. Charles man was on campus visiting his daughter.

"The timing of this event is unfortunate because of recent incidents on campus, but the College will reopen tomorrow morning as planned, with previously announced, enhanced security measures in place," the college said.

As campus opens Wednesday, administrators said there will be heightened security and counselors on hand.

Elmhurst College has 3,500 undergrad and grad students enrolled at the school. Police don't believe any of the threats are credible at this time.

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