US university cancels classes, cites threat

2015-10-07 20:34
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Louisville - A US university cancelled classes for the rest of the week because of an escalating threat after the discovery of graffiti that threatened to "kill all" this week, campus officials said on Wednesday.

Eastern Kentucky University's public safety office said there was no evidence of imminent danger but reported "an escalation in the threat, originating from social media". Police presence around the campus has increased, the office said.

School officials did not immediately identify the nature of the social media threat.

The threats surfaced on Monday, when campus police issued a public safety alert after menacing graffiti was found in a campus bathroom. The graffiti said: "Kill All By 10/8/15". 

University president Michael Benson said on Wednesday that the goal was to limit safety risks while assessing the threats.

"While we are confident the responding team of law enforcement agencies has kept a watchful eye over our community and is diligently investigating the threat, it has become clear this incident continues to be unsettling to a number of our students, faculty and staff," Benson said in a campus message.

Full campus operations will resume next Wednesday, following the school's autumn break, Benson said.

Campus public safety officials said some special events might continue as planned with increased security. Campus police continue to follow up on tips and interview people as part of the investigation.

Authorities have been unable to substantiate a specific threat against a specific building, public safety officials said.

State and federal law enforcement agencies are also involved in the investigation, campus officials said.

The university is offering a $10 000 reward for an identification leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible.

The action comes in the wake of a recent shooting at an Oregon college. The shooter killed nine people and himself.

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