A Penn State student has been arrested in connection with a threat to shoot others Monday at the HUB-Robeson Center.
The 20-year-old suspect, who lives off campus, will be charged with one count of terroristic threats and will be arraigned Monday. The arrest came hours after Penn State police notified the community about the threats.
The suspect’s name will not be released by Penn State officials until he is formally charged.
Penn State police worked with the social media platform Yik Yak, where the threat was made Saturday night, to locate the suspect and the mobile device that allegedly was used, according to a news release from the university.
Yik Yak allows users to make anonymous posts that can only be seen by others in a 1.5-mile radius and for only a few minutes. But some of the students who saw the post took screen shots and reported it to police, the release said.
“I am going to kill everyone in penn state main on monday. i got 5 bet mags of ar 15 and shoot everyone in the hub at 12:00. this is a warning,” said the post, which was sent at 10:29 p.m. Saturday.
Police say the suspect admitted to posting the threat, but said it was a prank. They also searched the suspect’s residence and did not find weapons.
Penn State Police Chief Tyrone Parham said in the news release that such threats are taken seriously and will result in criminal prosecution.
“Alarming an entire community is not considered a joke. It’s considered a terroristic threat in this case and this individual will be held accountable,” Parham said.
Penn State police prepared Sunday to be stationed at the HUB on Monday as a precaution after learning of the threat.
“University police are aware and have been investigating and monitoring social media since early this morning,” spokeswoman Lisa Powers said in an email Sunday afternoon. “They are currently discussing the best course of action.”
State College police Sgt. Todd Scholton said Penn State police had notified State College police about the threat but were not asked for assistance in the investigation or for precautionary measures.
Penn State said it also had notified the regional FBI office of the threat. FBI Special Agent Eric Ruona declined comment Sunday.