Absent Alert - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Absent Alert

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A shooting threat, posted on-line targeting Midwestern State University, caused a social media frenzy Sunday night. While the threat didn't happen Monday morning, many M.S.U. parents and students searched for answers.

"Last night we started getting notifications from people contacting our agency about a possible threat on social media sites. I was immediately notified by my staff and we began our investigation into trying to determine if the threat was credible or not," said Police Chief at Midwestern University, Dan Williams.

However, it depends on the situation for M.S.U. officials to decide when to alert MSU students.

"We had about an 11 or 12 hour window that we were looking at that we were trying to verify. We made the decision not to do an emergency notification because there aren’t any news sources. They are only used for immediate life threatening situations," said Chief Williams.

 Since this threat was not an immediate one, social media posts and emails were sent to M.S.U. students Sunday night and Monday.

"We did send out a series of emails to advise students that we knew about the situation and that the police was investigating it.  We also sent out another email saying that there was no immediate 

threat.  This morning we sent another email that had a little more details and we told them what had happened," said Director of Marketing and Public Information, Julie Gaynor.

Many of the students said they heard about the threat via social media sites and had never received an email.

"I found out about it over Facebook, which is a little bit concerning, but I do understand that the University did not want to create any panic," said M.S.U. senior, Anna Neuzilova.

"The only email I received was one saying the school was going to be delayed because of weather. It kind of made me mad because if something like that is even remotely thought about happening, every student should be informed about it,” M.S.U. freshman, Hunter Walls.

"I received an alert late, probably around 1 in the morning saying that school would be delayed and they were saying how a threat was being looked into and investigated," said M.S.U. freshman, Hunter Jones.

Chief Williams also said, "All students should have received an email about this incident, whether it went to the students M.S.U. email address or their personal email address they have registered with the school."

The threat is still a part of an ongoing investigation.  M.S.U. police believe the student whose name is connected with this threat is not the culprit of this threat, but the victim.  Full details of the investigation have not been released because M.S.U. police are afraid it could tip off any possible suspects. The M.S.U. police and the Wichita Falls Police Department are currently working together to patrol the campus.

Taylor Barnes, Newschannel 6
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