FBI investigates shooting threat at Puerto Rico university
Sources says it may be false; investigation continues
SAN JUAN — The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has in its sights a potential shooting threat in Ponce, Puerto Rico’s Pontificia Universidad Católica (Pontifical Catholic University) that is has kept the academic community in suspense since early Thursday.
FBI spokesman Luis Rivera told Caribbean Business that the agency received information about an alleged threat posted on social media that is being handling with the Puerto Rico Police to determine whether it is credible and “take the necessary measures.”
An anonymous message was posted on the “PUCPR-Ponce Confessions” social media page Wednesday night about an allegedly depressed young man expressing his hate of humanity and his intention to take an assault rifle in his bag to the university center and shoot as many students as possible.
The message immediately began to circulate on social media, resulting in a tense atmosphere at the academic institution Thursday.
Another person reacted to the message on social media Wednesday, saying that the person “who wants to shoot the [university] is my buddy and is being serious. I have tried to advise him and help him, but he says it’s seriously happening anyway…be very careful.”
Sources said Thursday that what has been found indicates the threat was a “bad joke” and that the messages have already been deleted, but the FBI continues investigating to determine the gravity of the threat.
On Thursday, the university’s president, Dr. Jorge Iván Vélez Arocho, said in a statement that security had been reinforced at the institution and reiterated that he referred the alleged threat to the FBI.
“For the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico, the safety of our students and the university community is vital. Our commitment is to continue providing this attention,” he said.
Vélez Arocho urged students or individuals who have any information related to acts that threaten any member of the university community to immediately notify the Office of Security or the Vice Presidency of Student Affairs.
“The University urges those who have information to contact the FBI at 787-754-6000 or through the website www.tips.fbi.gov,” he added.
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