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MSU: Shooting Threat Was a Hoax

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Midwestern State University posted on the school’s Facebook page at around midnight last night that a threat had been received via social media. According to MSU officials, the threat read as follows:

 ”Tomorrow (Monday) at approximately 9:30 a.m. I will be shooting everyone at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. I will then shoot myself. Look for me on the news, Ricardo Ruiz.”

Calls to the administration were not immediately returned, however, a school official tells News Talk 1290 that the threat was posted on a “Yahoo open forum”. Several students  notified campus police about the threat. About an hour later MSU posted on their Facebook page that “no one on campus was in imminent danger and classes would resume as scheduled Monday morning.” Classes did start as scheduled today.

The following statement was released this morning by the MSU Public Information Office :

The safety of our students, faculty, and staff is a top priority for Midwestern State University.  Last night, the university was made aware of an online threat to the campus. University Police immediately began an investigation into the validity of the threat.  Here are the facts we have from the police investigation:

The UPD determined the threat to be a hoax.

While the UPD is in fact still investigating, it concluded that there is no imminent threat to the campus community.

The FBI was not involved in the investigation.

It appears the person whose name was initially associated with the threat is a victim of the incident himself.

Because of the significant amount of concerns being raised through social media channels, two MSU Postmaster messages, titled MSU Safety Advisory, were sent to the campus community. The first was to acknowledge that the university was aware of the situation and taking action. The second was to inform the campus community that there was no imminent threat to the campus.  The same information was distributed through our official social media sites.  At the time of the second release, we understood the investigation to be concluded. In fact, the investigation is still pending.

Questions have arisen as to the use of an MSU Alert message. As are the guidelines of the university, the MSU Alert system is only used to distribute urgent and emergency information from university officials. Had officials at any time declared campus safety as compromised, an MSU Alert message would have been distributed giving appropriate safety information.

Thank you to the many who sent messages to the university through various channels to notify us of the threat.  Again, your safety is of utmost importance to this university and a matter we take seriously.

Julie Gaynor

Director, Marketing & Public Information

Midwestern State University

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