Threat of violence prompts University of Chicago to cancel classes; one person is in custody

Threat of violence prompts University of Chicago to cancel classes; one person is in custody

University decides to shut down the campus after receiving a warning from FBI counter-terrorism officials

The University of Chicago has cancelled classes and other campus activities Monday because of an online threat of gun violence on it campus.

UPDATE: The Chicago Tribune reports that an online threat to kill 16 white male students or staff in retaliation for the 2014 killing of a black youth by a Chicago police officer is what persuaded the University to cancel classes and close the campus Monday. One person has been taken into custody in connection with the threat to the campus.

University President Robert J. Zimmer said Sunday in an online message to the school community that FBI counterterrorism officials informed the university that an unknown individual posted an online threat of gun violence, specifically mentioning “the campus quad” on Monday morning at 10 a.m.

"Based on the FBI’s assessment of this threat and recent tragic events at other campuses across the country, we have decided in consultation with federal and local law enforcement officials, to exercise caution by canceling all classes and activities on the Hyde Park campus through midnight on Monday," Zimmer said.

The school has asked all non-medical faculty, students and non-essential staff are asked not to come to the campus, which is in the Hyde Park neighborhood on Chicago's South Side.

Students living on campus have been asked to stay indoors and await direct communication from housing personnel.

In response to the threat, the university has increased security on and around campus. University security personnel are keeping in close contact with the FBI, which is continuing to investigate the threat, Zimmer said.

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