Days after a nine-person massacre at a community college in Oregon rocked the nation and restarted a contentious debate about U.S. gun laws, the FBI and ATF have told administrators at all Philadelphia-area colleges and universities to be on alert Monday afternoon in light of a social media posting.
The FBI released the following statement Sunday afternoon:
Out of an abundance of caution, the FBI Philadelphia Field Office notified local colleges and universities of a social media posting which threatened violence at a Philadelphia-area college or university for Monday, Oct. 5.
No specific college or university was identified in the posting. We encourage students, faculty and employees at area colleges and universities to follow the guidance of their campus security officials.
The FBI will continue to work with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to investigate threats of violence, and, as always, we ask the public to report suspicious activity to law enforcement.
The Philadelphia Daily News reported the threat was posted Friday on 4chan.
"This is only the beginning," the Philadelphia-area threat says. "On Oct. 5, 2015, at 1 p.m. C[D]T, a fellow robot will take up arms against a university near Philadelphia. His cries will be heard, his victims will cower in fear, and the strength of the Union will decay a little more."
Warnings were sent to students at Temple University, the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University and La Salle University.
"I have no idea what to do with this information," an unidentified La Salle student told Philly Magazine. "I have to be on campus during this time tomorrow. I'm just supposed to be looking over my shoulder for a possible gunman?"
While the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon is fresh in the minds of many, shootings at schools have happened with some regularity. According to the nonprofit Everytown for Gun Safety, the shooting at Umpqua was the 45th school shooting to occur this year, and the 142nd to occur in an American school since December 2012.
Philadelphia, which is routinely ranked among the top destinations for college students in the country, is home to 19 four-year colleges, five post-graduate institutions and 10 two-year institutes and technical schools.