By Taylor Jones–
At 4:07 a.m., an anonymous post went up on 4chan, a social media site, stating that the poster was going to “shoot up” Miller Hall at the University of Louisville in a mere 6 hours, at 10 a.m. yesterday, Oct. 23, 2014. The scariest part of this threat is that the university student population was not made aware of the danger until 11:54 a.m., hours after local news stations had already posted, shared, and reported stories.
The University of Louisville seriously dropped the ball on this one. But is it really a big deal? After all, nobody was hurt and the anonymous poster was arrested.
Nevertheless, it is a huge deal.
The decision by university officials not to inform students of the impending threat to their lives is not only unbelievable, but a gross injustice of power. Those who most needed to know this information, the students, were left completely in the dark. Many students unknowingly walked around, near, and through Miller Hall during the hours between the post and 10 a.m..
Further, Miller Hall is located adjacent to the Student Activities Center, one of the most highly trafficked areas on campus. In fact, many Louisville students were only made aware of the shooting threat via Twitter. More alarming still is that the poster specified the exact type of weapon he would use, a Mossberg firearm.
The university’s email attempt at notifying the students of this threat was received by many as a joke. By the time the email was sent, at 11:54 a.m., numerous news stations, Facebook statuses, and tweets had told the general population everything they already needed to know.
For many, the final straw in this whole mess came from University of Louisville Spokesperson Mark Hebert’s statement to the press, “I think the message to everybody — including our students — is, your words have consequences.”
Lives were at risk. My life, my peers lives, my professors lives. This statement demonstrates the utter disregard for the human life and is an embarrassment to the university.
“This is completely unacceptable. We should have been warned. We should have gotten an email not to come to campus or we should have been on lockdown. But to wait three hours before they told us anything is disgusting,” said senior, Bri Hyman.
The anonymous poster was arrested and taken into custody for terroristic threatening before 10 a.m. He has since been identified as Charles Edward Robb, an 18-year-old freshman and Louisville native. Robb is a resident of Miller Hall, the dorm he threatened.
Here is a timeline:
4:07 a.m.: the post was made to 4chan
Shortly before 8 a.m.: university officials received tip of the post
Approximately 8 a.m.: police arrived at the Belknap campus
8:30 a.m.: Charles Robb was arrested and taken into custody for questioning
9:03 a.m.: tweet from WLKY’s Tim Elliott is made, the first notice for U of L students
9:10 a.m.: the first story of the threat made it’s way online via WDRB
11:54 a.m.: email sent to all students from Provost Willihnganz, the first university-sanctioned notice to students