Threatening email causes alert

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Hampden-Sydney College posted an “all clear” at 1:19 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23, after a threatening email caused the campus officials to send out an “active shooter alert” at 12:32 p.m.

The information said the active shooter threat was only a threat and there was “no current shooter.” Students and those on campus were advised to remain in shelter.

An email sent to members of the Hampden-Sydney community shortly after the “all clear” was given explained the origin of the threat.

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A threatening email to campus police triggered the alert. The same email was sent to several institutions including Averett University in Danville and Central Virginia Community College.

“To be clear, no threatening individual or active shooter has been spotted on campus,” an email to students said. “Earlier today, H-SC campus police received a threatening email from an individual stating that they planned to come to campus armed and with the intention of harming members of the community. We have since learned from the FBI that this appears to be a hoax and that many institutions across the country received the same emailed threat.”

After receiving the email threat, campus police put the campus in a shelter-in-place status and began working with local and federal authorities to investigate the threat.

“Campus and local police have been sweeping the campus and will continue to do so, but as the latest emergency notification says, law enforcement has deemed the situation to be clear, and the shelter-in-place measures have been lifted,” the email concluded.

It was 47 minutes between the announcement to shelter in place was given at 12:32 p.m. and the all clear notification was given at 1:19 p.m.