NWM Logo - Campus News

There is an open investigation for a terrorist threat on the B.D. Owens Library, Colden Hall, Wells Hall and Valk Center April 9, according to the University Police Crime Log. 

Interim University Police Chief Amanda Cullin said she is not able to talk about the case or what the University Police Department responded to the threat with because it is still being investigated. 

“I can't discuss the case,” Cullin said. “Actually, chances are, it's going to go federal, and so (The Missourian) probably won't have access to (the investigative report) for quite a while. Because once we forward it, it'll be their case.” 

Maryville Police Chief Ron Christian said the city dispatch center received a call April 9, and dispatchers were suspicious very quickly because the person on the end of the phone wasn’t able to answer basic questions or give any specific information. 

He said the report was then transferred to the University Police Department. Maryville police had officers on campus but didn’t know if they were in buildings. Ultimately, Christian said he doesn't think anything has come out of the threat. 

“I mean you don't want to ever make too many assumptions, but it just didn't go anywhere, fortunately,” Christian said. “And then right now, we just don't really have anywhere else to go.”

Northwest’s 2022-2023 Student Handbook covers “Timely Warning Notifications,” which states in the event of a reported crime, either on campus or off that is received within 72 hours of the incidence occurrence, the chief of UPD will make a judgment in which a “timely warning” will be provided to the community.

Bearcat Alert, Northwest’s Emergency Text Message Service, allows the University to communicate with students during times of crisis. There was no Bearcat Alert sent out because of this issue. When asked why, Cullin said she could not discuss that matter. 

“I think we're on the same page because obviously, safety and security is kind of what we do to you, and I know there's going to be a lot of questions, but we would not ever compromise the case,” Cullin said. 

The University of Oklahoma had a similar situation happen April 7, when there were reports of an active shooter on campus. The university executed a shelter-in-place, which was later called off after the campus police concluded its search. 

“... The police response in Oklahoma, it was like, the end of the world, you know, it looked like what you would normally expect, cops everywhere, guns everywhere, which doesn't make people feel better,” Christian said. 

Christian said calls like these have been made all across the Midwest, some recently in Iowa. He said there are two phone numbers, but with today’s technology, someone’s ability to hide their phone number makes it harder to identify who the person actually is. 

As for the investigation into who called the threat in, UPD is still investigating. The Missourian will continue to update as more information becomes available. 

MaKayla Polak contributed to this report.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.