Los Angeles police are continuing to investigate a threat of a mass shooting at Loyola Marymount University sent through email last week.
Det. Victoria Lim of the Los Angeles Police Department Pacific division said police were notified of a threat of a shooting planned on the LMU campus in Westchester March 17 and immediately responded to the campus to investigate. Detectives told the Los Angeles Times that the threat warned of a “Virginia Tech-style shooting,” referring to the 2007 incident when a student killed 32 people at the university before killing himself.
“Any threat that’s made to the public, whether it’s on a campus or not, we take it very seriously,” Lim told The Argonaut. “We will take the appropriate action depending on what the threat is.”
After the anonymous threat was received through email by LMU Public Safety, Hampton Cantrell, chief of Public Safety, immediately issued an alert via the university’s ConnectEd warning system that a threat of violence was made against the campus, said Kathleen Flanagan, LMU vice president of community and government relations. Approximately 9,000 faculty, staff and students are notified through the warning system by text message, email or phone call.
The alert encouraged the campus community to report any suspicious activity.
“Any threat we take seriously and call the LAPD and get them involved immediately,” Flanagan said. “Until we know otherwise we have to take it seriously.”
Campus operations remained normal following the threat, Flanagan said.
She said that police quickly arrived on campus to try to determine where the threat came from and remained at the school throughout the day March 17.
“They were very responsive and their presence was seen on campus throughout the day,” she said.
LMU Public Safety issued a follow-up notice that the police investigation is continuing and detectives are following several leads.
Lim said she could not confirm reports that the threat may have been traced to an off-campus apartment.