Eastern Kentucky University, located in Richmond, Kentucky, has cancelled their classes for the rest of the week so authorities can investigate the threat found written in a bathroom on campus in graffiti.
Late Sunday night, EKU Police found a message written on the wall of a men's bathroom inside the Powell Building that read "KILL ALL BY 10/8/15 THIS BU OOP." The university immediately issued an alert to students, warning them about the threat. The university also offered a $10,000 reward leading to the "identification, arrest and conviction of the responsible person or persons," which has brought in numerous tips for the authorities to investigate.
"It's a little hard to understand what the handwriting at the end of that message means. Police are investigating that. They're sharing information with partner agencies to determine if there is another meaning for it or if it's just a handwriting mistake," EKU spokesperson Kristi Middleton said, according to WKYT.
#BREAKING | EKU issues second campus alert, cancels classes for the rest of the week http://t.co/C9fbeVjgw0 pic.twitter.com/LkPnmtiJV5
— WKYT (@WKYT) October 7, 2015
EKU officials cancelled several smaller events earlier this week so they could focus on providing security to the larger events on campus. They have also now cancelled the remainder of the classes scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday. However, University Housing and Dining Services will remain open. The Model Laboratory School on EKU's campus, which houses grades kindergarten through 12th grade, also made the decision to close from Tuesday to Thursday. They were already scheduled to be closed on Friday.
Before the university decided to cancel the remainder of the week's classes, the students were told that they were not required to attend their classes and could talk to their professors about making up their work.
Update from EKU re: bathroom graffiti situation: pic.twitter.com/IyuqZjIvnj
— Central Ky Scanner (@kyscanner) October 5, 2015
The FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force, Kentucky State Police, Richmond Police, Berea Police, and the Madison County Sheriff's Office are all helping with the investigation.
Below is the full statement from EKU.
"To allow law enforcement to conduct a thorough investigation of the continuing threat and ensure the safety of our campus community, all Eastern Kentucky University campuses will cancel classes beginning today, October 7th, 2015, at 10:00 AM and will close Thursday, October 8th and Friday October 9th, 2015. Essential services will remain open, and police presence around the campus will continue to be increased. Some special events may continue as planned with increased security presence. A message will be coming from the Office of the President providing more details.
The EKU Police Department continues to follow up on tips issued from the community and is actively investigating the threat in conjunction with other Federal and State Law Enforcement agencies."
"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," Eastern Kentucky University President Michael Benson said in a separate statement. "We must continue to look out for each other and strive to create and maintain a safe environment where faculty can teach, staff can serve, and students can learn."
The threat has understandably left many teachers and students on edge, especially since the recent shooting tragedy at Umpqua Community College in Oregon that left nine people dead when a gunman opened fire in a classroom.
Brittney Highley, a freshman and cheerleader at EKU, says she feels the threat is fake and is simply someone looking for attention and a longer fall break. However, she said she is glad the university is taking precautionary measures to protect their students and staff members.
"I feel like the threat is fake because it has happened before and at different schools," Highley, 19, told the Inquisitr. "I think the person that did this wanted attention and wanted school to be cancelled for a longer fall break. Either way, it's scary to all of our campus because no one really knows if it's fake or real, but I'm glad the school is taking precaution and making sure all EKU students are safe."
WTVQ reports that anyone with information regarding who left the message is asked to call EKU Police at (859) 622-1111, or leave a tip via the online form, found at Police.eku.edu.
[Photo via Twitter]