The extensive police investigation into the Otago University anonymous shooting threat made in 2015 has reached a dead end, according to a police report released to Stuff and later Critic under the Official information Act.
In October 2015 an anonymous person posted on 4chan, "If you're in Dunedin, I wouldn't recommend coming 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," along with a picture of a locked open pistol. The post came a week after a similar post on 4chan resulted in a mass shooting in Oregon, killing ten people. There was no attack on the University
Following the threat, the Dunedin Police launched a significant investigation, dubbed “Operation Varsity,” involving “A large number of police and specialised units”.
The Dunedin Police identified and spoke to 37 potential suspects but “no evidence was ever found linking them to the threat,” according to the report.
Critic spoke to one suspect, then a first year student at a residential hall, who said that police showed up at his door with his RA “in like, full get up”.
He said that he was interviewed for about two hours and he was mostly asked “a tonne of shit about my hobbies, what websites I frequented and why, asking what names I went by online, they made me email them a Pepe wallpaper I'd made, asking why I used non-standard programs for things, and if there were any groups of people I disliked.”
“They did say pretty early on that they were pretty sure someone had just played a joke on me, but because of protocol or whatever they had to treat it properly.”
According to the police report, the person who made the 4chan post was “very computer literate” and knew how to re-route and hide IP addresses. The police tracked the post across the world, ending in a communications company in Medellin, Colombia. Police got in contact with the company but it proved to be a dead end.
At the conclusion of the police report Detective Sergeant Chris Henderson said, “I have held onto the file until now in the hope that some new line of inquiry may come to light, however it hasn’t and to date this case remains unsolved”.