"The local media gets an opportunity to fear monger"
(10/09/08) - At one point Thursday, there was so much concern that the university had the FAA restrict the airspace above the campus.
Suspect arrested in MTSU security threat Video
Authorities at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro have a suspect in custody for sending threatening emails and setting at least one fire on campus.
Police arrested 19-year-old Justin Davis, a student at the school, at about 4:30 p.m. Thursday, only a few hours after MTSU President Sidney McPhee sent an e-mail to all faculty, staff and students, canceling classes for the remainder of the week.
Davis, who is from Antioch, is currently being held in the Rutherford County jail.
He faces charges of arson, among others.
Police said several persons received the email Wednesday, which threatened harm to the student body.
In a press conference Thursday afternoon MTSU Police Chief Buddy Peaster said several persons received the email Wednesday, which threatened harm to the student body.
He said the email, while it did mention large scale devastation and destruction, was generic in nature and did not name any specific victim(s).
He said about four to five people received the email, including himself.
Peaster said while typical emails generally turn out to be hoaxes, a fire Wednesday night at Miss Mary Hall, a dormitory on the southwestern side of campus, prompted them to investigate further.
Chief Peaster said the fire, which appears to be intentionally set, coupled with the emails prompted a meeting of the "Crisis Council" Thursday morning which decided to err of the side of caution and cancel classes.
The Crisis Council is made up of police officers and faculty.
"Because of the proximity of the two events we just thought it'd be better to be safer than sorry," he said, adding security in the area of Miss Mary Hall and across campus has been increased.
At the time of Thursday's press conference, Peaster said police were treating the fire and threatening emails as "separate incidents that could be connected."
He said at the current time there was no need to evacuate campus, including the residence halls, and the school was not on lockdown.
Fall break was scheduled to begin Saturday. Classes will not resume at MTSU until Wednesday.
The local radio is reporting that Homeland Security is involved and that helicopters have been seen above the campus. Hmmmm
Update: FBI agents are currently securing MTSU's campus and a no-fly zone has been enacted over the university. Murfreesboro Fire Department confirmed it responded to a series of small, intentional fires on MTSU’s campus starting at 3 p.m. yesterday and two more this morning. “Right now we’re dealing with an act of domestic terrorism,” Deputy Fire Chief Cumbey Gaines said.
Middle Tennessee State University is located in Murfreesboro, about 30 miles from Nashville.
MTSU Police Chief Talks About Campus Threat
News Channel 5
"Yesterday afternoon between 1 and 3 p.m. we received word that a small number of people on campus here at MTSU had received a threatening email," said MTSU police chief Buddy Peaster.
Peaster said the email was very generic and did not mention any specific targeted victims or locations.
"The email made reference to large scale devastation or destruction without specifically saying how it might be done," said Peaster.
The email reportedly threatened that people would be hurt if school was not canceled.
When asked about reports of a search for a person of interest, Chief Peaster said officers were trying to locate a man who may have been a witness and may have had some information.
He said the man was not a suspect nor had they identified any.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"Armed and dangerous"
BREAKING: MTSU cancels classes today, Friday following e-mail threat, firesThe Daily News Journal • October 9, 2008
MTSU classes have been cancelled at MTSU today and Friday, according to the following statement from President Sidney McPhee issued moments ago to MTSU faculty staff and students:
Law enforcement officers from state and local agencies are sweeping the campus, assault weapons drawn, looking for a male suspect who is described as 6 feet, 5 inches tall and weighing 225 pounds with blond hair.According to MTSU officials, two academic deans received threats and multiple suspicious fires were reported at a campus dorm on Thursday.
“A credible threat to our campus has been made. As a result, as of noon today, classes will be cancelled for the remainder of the week. Campus Police, in cooperation with local and state law enforcement officials, are actively investigating the situation, which involves a series of threatening emails and suspicious fires.
During this time, campus security will be increased. University offices will maintain normal business hours and other campus events will go on as scheduled. Following our regularly scheduled fall break, classes will resume on Wednesday, October 15. Employees are encouraged to report any unusual or suspicious activity to Campus Police. More information will be provided on the MTSU home page as details become available.
Sidney A. McPhee
Middle Tennessee State University
This past Wednesday, Oct. 8, several campus e-mail clients received general but threatening e-mails. The author of the threat indicated that the unspecific action would take place today, Oct. 9. An investigation is being conducted to locate the sender. The campus police is asking any suspicious activity be reported immediately.
While McPhee and Johnson declined to comment on the nature of the threat, they told "Sidelines" a news conference with campus Police Chief Buddy Peaster will occur at some point today in order to ascertain more details.
I don't know if this may be related but conservative thugs are not only stealing Obama yard signs in Murfreesboro, but they are spray painting people's houses and committing vandalism on cars and homes with Obama signs. This has happened to an MTSU administrator at his home. Mindless skinhead thugs I guess. You know what side they're on.
October 9, 2008
MTSU classes have been cancelled today and Friday. MTSU Spokesperson Gina Logue told WGNS that a letter written by Sydney McPhee was emailed to faculty and staff. WGNS’ Bart Walker spoke to Logue at 12:03, Thursday afternoon.