UNA campus to close Oct. 9 following threat

A threat was written in a bathroom in Collier Library. (Source: WAFF)
A threat was written in a bathroom in Collier Library. (Source: WAFF)
Threat written in UNA bathroom. (Source: Viewer)
Threat written in UNA bathroom. (Source: Viewer)

FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) - The University of North Alabama campus in Florence will be closed on Oct. 9 following a threat written on the wall in a library bathroom.

The threat was discovered on Sept. 26 in a men's bathroom in Collier Library.

Police said the threat wasn't directed to anyone specifically, but did say that four people would die on Oct. 9. It also mentioned the date was two months since the shooting of Michael Brown.

Campus authorities said they found additional writing inside an elevator in a parking garage, reading "RIP Michael Brown." They said there were no additional threats but believe it is connected to the message in the library bathroom.

A campus alert was sent to let students, faculty and staff know about the threat. Police said they are taking extra precautions around residence halls and campus apartments.

The campus will be closed on Thursday, one day before Fall Break begins.

UNA President John Thornell said canceling classes and closing campus a day early will not make the threat go away, but it sends a message that the university takes threats seriously and our first priority is the safety of our students, faculty and staff. Even though the campus will close a day early, UNA police will still have additional officers on campus to help with security around the residence halls.

Students said despite the increased police presence, they still feel safe on campus.

"We have an excellent police force here, along with Florence," said student Patrick McCabe. "I really haven't done anything differently. It's one of those things, it's always on the back of your mind."

"This threat wasn't necessarily made against campus - it was made on campus - so it could really affect anybody in the city of Florence or anywhere for that matter," said UNA Police Chief Bob Pastula. "Since it was made on-campus, we decided to err on the side of caution and figured it would be better to have fewer students and faculty and staff here on campus."

Kilby Laboratory school will also be closed on Thursday. Only essential personnel will be on campus.

Pastula added that when they find the person responsible, he or she will be charged with making a terrorist threat.

UNA police continue to investigate the threat. Anyone with information about the threat should call 256-765-4357.

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