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Mo. man, 19, arrested after threat to "shoot every black person"

Disturbing video was captured at University of Missouri during student protests that showed Melissa Click, an assistant professor of mass media, trying to intimidate student journalists covering the protests
Mizzou faculty under fire for blocking student journalists 03:08

COLUMBIA, Mo. - University of Missouri police on Wednesday arrested a 19-year-old man suspected of posting online threats to shoot black students and faculty, adding to the racial tensions at the heart of the protests that led to the resignations of two university leaders earlier this week.

Hunter Park KMOV-TV

Campus police arrested Hunter M. Park, 19, in Rolla at 1:50 a.m. and took him to jail in Columbia, about 75 miles to the northwest. He was booked on a preliminary charge of suspicion of making a terrorist threat and hadn't been formally charged as of mid-morning. His bond is $4,500.

Police said earlier the suspect was not on or near the university's Columbia campus when the threat was made. Officials later said Park is a student at one of the school system's other campuses.

Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla confirmed that 19-year-old Hunter M. Park is a student there. He was arrested Wednesday at a residence hall on the Rolla campus. The school says no weapons were found. Park was taken by University of Missouri police to Columbia, where he is jailed. Formal charges haven't been filed.

"We had additional officers on patrol last night and the campus remained safe," Major Brian Weimer said in a statement. "We investigated a number of reports and tips and take every one of them seriously."

In a statement Wednesday morning, University of Missouri Police said they had apprehended "the suspect who posted threats to campus on YikYak and other social media."

The university's statement came after at least two users posted threats on the anonymous location-based messaging app Yik Yak.

One user threatened to "shoot every black person I see."

There were other threats, and authorities didn't say if additional arrests are possible.

Another said, "Some of you are alright. Don't go to campus tomorrow." The message seemed to echo one that appeared on the website 4chan - a forum where racist and misogynistic comments are frequent - ahead of a deadly shooting at an Oregon community college last month.

The posts were widely disseminated across the Internet and local media.

What's next at the University of Missouri? 03:25

Campus police Capt. Brian Weimer told The Associated Press additional officers were already on campus before the university learned of the threats. University police were working with other state and local agencies to ensure the campus was secure, he said.

CBS News correspondent Adriana Diaz reports the student protest campsite was taken down overnight. The plan had been for protesters to remove all their belongings but leave the tents up. But it appears the threats led them to completely vacate the protest area.

On Tuesday night, the school's online emergency information center tweeted, "There is no immediate threat to campus," and asked that student not spread rumors.

CBS Jefferson City, Missouri affiliate KRCG-TV quotes Weimer as saying there was also a threat called in to the Black Culture Center on campus. He said someone answering the phone and perceived the phone call as a threat. Weimer wouldn't elaborate on what that threat was.

After the call was received, the doors to the Black Culture Center were locked as a precaution, the station says.

KRCG reporters saw several cars from the school police force and Missouri State Highway Patrol on campus Tuesday evening.

The school newspaper, the Missourian, said Weimer told it no campus buildings had been evacuated on campus as of 9 p.m. Tuesday.

The paper added that the MU Legion of Black Collegians tweeted it wouldn't hold a senate meeting Wednesday. "Stay home, Stay safe," the tweet read.

The paper also reported that, "MU's Army ROTC sent an email telling its students to dress in civilian clothes on Tuesday and Wednesday; Wednesday is Veteran's Day. The ROTC canceled its Wednesday morning physical training session."

Gaby Rodriguez, a senior, said she was at work when she heard about the online threats.

"It's really disheartening and proves the point of why these protests and boycotts were necessary," Rodriguez said. "I don't think I've ever felt this unsafe at Mizzou," she said, referring to the college by its nickname.

A student newspaper, The Maneater, tweeted late Tuesday that two sororities, Phi Mu and Tri Delta, were on lockdown.

The developments were the latest in a tumultuous week for the flagship campus of the University of Missouri system.

History of racial tension at Mizzou 03:54

The student government president's accounts of having racial slurs shouted at him from a passing pickup truck helped spark a weeks-long protest movement. A graduate student's hunger strike then led to a two-day walkout by more than 30 members of the Missouri football team. Those developments came to a head Monday with the resignation of university system President Tim Wolfe, who had become the target of many of the protests. Hours later, the top administrator of the Columbia campus, Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, was forced out.

A plaza that had been the site of a sit-in by protesters was entirely empty Tuesday night and only a handful of students were seen walking around campus. Police officers from the campus department and city of Columbia were on patrol.

David Wallace, a spokesman for the student government group Missouri Students Association, said the group asked university officials to cancel classes Wednesday in light of the threats.

Gaby Rodriguez, a senior, said she was at work when she heard about the threats.

"It's really disheartening and proves the point of why these protests and boycotts were necessary," Rodriguez said. "I don't think I've ever felt this unsafe at Mizzou," she said, referring to the college by its nickname.

Some students, faculty and alumni have said the protests and top leaders' resignations are the culmination of years of racial tension.

Among other recent events, members of the Legions of Black Collegians, whose founders include a recently retired deputy chancellor, said slurs were hurled at them by an apparently drunken white student while practicing for a homecoming performance.

The university has promised changes.

Chuck Henson, a black law professor and associate dean, was been appointed Tuesday he university's first-ever interim vice chancellor for inclusion, diversity and equity.

The university system's governing body, the Board of Curators, also announced a number of other initiatives, including more support for the hiring and retention of diverse faculty and staff and a full review of all policies related to staff and student conduct.

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