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Student threatened to blow up MACC Columbia campus

Columbia Police responded to a threat on the Moberly Area Community College campus Monday.

The Director of Security with MACC contacted Columbia police in reference to allegations of a threat, police said.

CPD learned a student made the possible threat earlier on Monday on the Columbia Campus located at 601 W. Business Loop 70. Officers contacted the person who allegedly made the threatening statement and say they are dealing with the student accordingly.

MACC security said extra patrols were scheduled. The college sent a message to students through its alert system and canceled classes around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

“Some students had started getting text messages from the Moberly alert system saying that class was canceled, overheard them talking,” MACC student Chris Greathouse said. “They eventually alerted the teacher. He didn’t really seem to know what was going on. We peered in the hallway and all the other classes were emptying, so we did the same.”

ABC 17 asked MACC why it took more than 10 hours to send out an alert.

“We’re looking at that,” Scott McGarvey with MACC said. “We’re looking at the process. We’re looking at the procedure that we used to get the information out, reviewing the time line and figure out how that process worked out.”

Only students who signed up for the alert system got the message, leaving many students and teachers out of the loop.

“I don’t think a lot of people really knew what was going on,” Greathouse said. “I personally didn’t, other than just hearing in class that there was a possible bomb threat. So I think a lot of confusion was happening.”

Police later determined the threat was not credible. Police said person who reportedly made the threat was cooperative with the investigation and nothing suspicious was found indicating the student was planning on carrying out a threat.

MACC student Genevieve Rothwell did not find out classes were canceled until she showed up for her 2:00 p.m. class and saw the doors were locked. Rothwll said she thought MACC should have responded sooner and sent out a mass email.

“Especially with this type of situation, something this alarming, if they really did want to protect the students and make sure that everyone was out of harm’s way, I think the email would’ve been the go-to thing,” Rothwell said. “I’m sure I’m not the first student to show up and notice everything’s gone.”

No arrests have been made, according to Columbia police. MACC is doing an internal investigation into the threat and will discipline the student accordingly, McGarvey said.

The Columbia campus will remain closed for all of Tuesday and reopen for normal business hours Wednesday.

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