The menacing online poster who threatened to shoot up Arizona State University with an assault rifle Monday is a 12-year-old boy in Canada, law enforcement officials announced today.
The boy has “apologized for his actions and the disruption they caused,” according to an ASU police statement. He has been contacted by Canadian authorities, but no charges have been filed.
In his message, posted on the image-sharing website 4chan on Sunday, the boy vowed to set his rifle sights on “filthy degenerate normies,” “all of the girls who laugh at me calling me a creep,” and “all of the frat boys who get all the girls.”
He’d planned the attack for 12:30 p.m. Monday, he wrote. He’d be packing a Bushmaster M4 Carbine.
“They will all pay for alienating me,” he wrote.
ASU police, who recruited the help of the Tempe Police Department and the FBI, alerted students to the threat two hours before the announced attack time via Twitter and Facebook, saying it did “not appear credible.”
We are aware of unsubstantiated social media threats to a Univ. in AZ Does not appear credible, safety is paramount. We are investigating.— ASU Police (@ASUPolice) November 2, 2015
But, while the announcement was intended to reassure students, panic ensued. Some teachers canceled class, students said. Others told students they could go home if they didn’t feel safe. Many students refused to leave buildings.
I would skip my class due to the shooting threat at ASU.. but I already have 2 absences so the ultimatum is get shot or get dropped lol— Brian Bossert (@bossertsbrian) November 2, 2015
can asu cancel school plz because i have to go this class right now but theres a shooting threat so im scared ok thanks— nicole kinsey (@JoNicoleKinsey) November 2, 2015
Critics called the university out for failing to use its emergency text-message alert system to keep students updated.
“Not everyone can or does check Twitter or Facebook all the time,” ASU student Christina Villa wrote in a Facebook post. “Everyone does receive texts, though, even if it’s a glance at your screen.”
ASU regularly sends students text alerts about bees and gas leaks, she argued. How could it stay silent about a possible shooter?
“What if it had turned out to be credible after all?” she wrote, adding that many people have “lost trust in ASU’s ability to keep them safe” because of its poor communication.
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So there's a threat for a shooting at ASU tomorrow and I'm finding this out from twitter and not my school? Hmm thanks for the update @ASU.— B (@brettking13) November 12, 2014
*bee flies across campus* ASU: sends warning emails *direct school shooting threat* ASU:— Robby w (@RobbyW63) November 2, 2015
ASU police, in a statement, maintained that they would have used “appropriate channels” to tell student, faculty, and staff what to do had the threat been “substantiated.”
“ASU PD takes the safety of the ASU and surrounding communities very seriously,” the agency stated. “If you see something, say something. Never be afraid to email or call ASU PD to report suspicious activity.”