No charges against student in Mott Community College false shooter threat

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FLINT (WJRT) - UPDATE: (02/14/17) - No criminal charges will be filed against the 24-year-old student who reported an alleged "active shooter" threat at Mott Community College last week.

Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said Tuesday the student was suffering from mental illness when he called the college to report a threatening post he says he saw on Twitter.

Mott Community College was shut down for the day, along with its five satellite campuses.

It turns out, the threat didn't exist.

"He was on psychotropic medication at the time. According to his psychiatrist, that medication could cause him to hallucinate. We have decided not to issue charges against this individual mostly because he has mental health issues," Leyton said.

Leyton has filed terrorism-related charges in cases similar to this one, but it appears the student likely thought he was actually doing a good deed, not realizing the chaos it would cause.

"We don't ever think he had the intent to do it because in his hallucinogenic state, he actually thought he saw this Twitter message," Leyton said.

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UPDATE (02/07/17) - Classes are back in session at Flint's Mott Community College after an active shooter threat Monday.

Students, faculty and staff have returned to their normal, every-day routines.

However, Monday’s threat was definitely on the minds of many students we spoke with.

"It's back to normal, but you do feel a little nervous being around just in case, because you don't know what's going to happen. You have to look over your shoulder and you don't know what to expect right now, so I was sort of not wanting to come to school today because I didn't know what to expect,” said Mario Boone, Mott CC student.

"You're not safe anywhere nowadays, so yes, I was nervous walking through campus after getting threats yesterday,” said Robert Ransom, Mott CC student.

"I was a little bit nervous to come to class and everything, but you can't live life in fear, so you just have to go,” said Jade Rushton, Mott CC student.

A college spokesperson tells us that while no actual incident occurred Monday, Mott's police department is being very watchful Tuesday and doing whatever it takes to make sure that everyone on Mott's campus feels safe.

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(02/06/17) - Mott Community College was closed Monday due to what the college is calling an "active shooter threat".

There was at no point an active shooter on the main campus in Flint or any of the satellite locations.

Mott Community College Police Chief Theresa Stephens-Lock says around 7 a.m. Monday, the college received a call referencing an "active shooter threat" made in an alleged post on social media.

Monday afternoon, Michigan State Police investigators questioned a 24-year-old Mott Community College student in connection to the alleged threat.

The interview uncovered that the student did not actually observe a threatening post on social media.

MSP tells ABC12 News the student has a history of mental health issues and is currently receiving treatment.

The Genesee County prosecutor will be reviewing the case to see if charges are appropriate.

Campus was put on lock down early Monday morning, then people were evacuated.

Mott Community College activated their emergency alert system, which means text messages and emails went out alerting students.

Stephens-Lock says you have to enroll in the text alerts - it's not automatic. She's encouraging students to do that for updates.

Originally, they were going to open the campus up at 1 p.m. Monday, but they still had leads to follow up on, so the decision was made to close all day.

Public safety on campus received help from state police and federal agencies to clear any threat and they checked every building in Flint and all Mott facilities.

The college will reopen Tuesday.

MCC released the following statement Monday evening:

The coordinated investigation of MCC Police, State Police and the FBI has located and apprehended the individual who called in a threat to the College today. The individual was apprehended, interviewed and the Michigan State Police are seeking an arrest warrant from the Prosecutor’s Office. The College will implement disciplinary action as part of the Student Code of Conduct.

We apologize for any inconvenience resulting from today’s closing, however, MCC takes safety seriously, and we will take every precaution necessary to ensure the safety of students, employees and our visitors.

The College – ALL SITES – will be open tomorrow for regular business.



 
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