Student Threatens a 'Columbine-Like' Shooting at Widener University: Police - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Student Threatens a 'Columbine-Like' Shooting at Widener University: Police



    Widener University Student Arrested for Alleged Terroristic Threats

    A Widener University student is under arrest, accused of threatening a Columbine style shooting against those who bullied him. NBC10's Lu Ann Cahn is on campus with more, including why the school was not put on lockdown. (Published Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014)

    A college freshman frustrated with bullying threatened to shoot up his Delaware County university like it was Columbine High School, according to authorities.

    Chester Police joined county investigators to arrest a 20-year-old New Jersey man on Widener University's campus Tuesday after a threatening message posted anonymously to Yik Yak emerged.

    "I will attempt to shoot everyone who I (expletive) hate and who bully me every single day!!!!" read the message posted around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

    The threat went on to mention Columbine -- the Colorado school where two students went on a shooting rampage that left 15 dead and two dozen injured.

    'I Will Attempt to Shoot Everyone:' Widener Student Arrested for Threat

    [PHI] 'I Will Attempt to Shoot Everyone:' Widener Student Arrested for Threat
    An 18-year-old Widener University freshman was arrested Tuesday after he allegedly posted a Columbine-style threatening message online.
    (Published Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014)

    The message was deleted after a short while but no before fellow students saw it and reported it to the university, which in turn reported it to Chester Police Tuesday, said authorities.

    Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan said his office tracked an IP address that led them to the student, identified as Luis Vela of Lodi, New Jersey. Within 90 minutes police tracked down Vela.

    "That posting was very serious, it was that the individual was going to take a gun and shoot up the students at Widener University," said Whelan.

    Whelan commended the university and police for quickly identifying the suspect and making the arrest as Vela -- criminal justice major -- left a classroom. Vela had no guns on him or in his dorm room at the time, said police.

    In a statement posted to the university's website, there was never an actual threat to students on the Chester, Pennsylvania campus.

    "The university takes these threats seriously and acts accordingly," said the statement. "Anyone posting such threats will face criminal charges."

    Police seized the Vela's laptop even though the message was posted via cellphone. Authorities charged Vela with making terroristic threats, simple assault and harassment.