The University of Otago will remain open tomorrow as police investigate an anonymous gun threat made towards the Dunedin campus.
The original post was made on the evening of Monday 5 October 2015 via social media site 4chan, an online board where users can anonymously post comments and share images.
The post, which has now been removed, included a photo of a gun and advised people not to go to the University of Otago tomorrow:
“If you’re in Dunedin, I wouldn’t recommend going to Otago University on Wednesday. Notes have been taken from tactics used in other massacres and shootings. I know what works and what doesn’t.”
Police say they are taking the matter very seriously whilst they assess the authenticity of the post with the High Tech Crime Group in Wellington.
“Police would like to reassure university staff and students, and the wider Dunedin community, that appropriate measures are being taken in relation to the post,” says Inspector Mel Aitken, acting Area Commander for Otago Coastal.
“Our advice at this time is to be alert and vigilant but not alarmed while our investigation is ongoing.”
The police are also concerned of the copycat threat, following references to the mass shooting at 2007 Virginia Tech in the United States.
“We will deal firmly with any individuals associated with any such copycat threats,” said Aitken.
The University of Otago sent out emails and texts to students:
“A security threat has been made against the University of Otago (Dunedin campus) through social media. While the threat has not been substantiated at this time, it is being taken seriously and Police are investigating. We are working closely with the Police. Please check the University website for information from the Police http://www.otago.ac.nz/news/news/otago197001.html Updates will be issued on the University website as and when required.”
Those with particular concerns about the threat can contact police or the university Campus Watch staff.