On Oct. 5, students at universities in and around Philadelphia held their breath, praying that the threat of violence at a university near Philadelphia was just going to be a threat. Students skipped classes and were adamant against leaving their rooms. Some classes went as scheduled, but it was evident that the campuses as a whole were a far cry from normal.
This threat was made on the website 4Chan, which is the United States’ version of a Japanese website entitled 2Chan. It is an anonymous imageboard site where people can post images in discussion boards and converse with others about those images. Over the last decade, 4Chan has been linked to Internet attacks, animal abuse, child pornography, counterfeiting, cyber bullying, celebrity photo leaks, a murder, and many threats of violence. One such threat was made against a school in Oregon, and was followed by the shooting that took place at Umpqua Community College.
The threat against a Philadelphia university was another such threat. It was posted online after the Oregon shooting. The anonymous poster stated, “‘On October 5, 2015 at 1:00 PM CT, a fellow robot will take up arms against a university near Philadelphia. His cries will be heard, his victims will cower in fear, and the strength of the Union will decay a little more. If you are in that area, you are encouraged to stay at home and watch the news as the chaos unfolds. His sacrifice will echo throughout the nation.”’ The message was shockingly similar to the post that announced the Oregon shooting. So one by one, colleges in and around Philadelphia began to take precautions and heighten their security in case this threat also came true.
Then, 2 p.m. came and went without incident. However, the main campus of the Community College of Philadelphia was locked down on Oct. 6 – the day after the violence was supposed to take place. A young man threatened a student with a gun and then ran into the building. The campus was locked down around 9:30 a.m., and the police caught the suspect around two hours later. The suspect did not have a gun on him when the police found him. However, witnesses say that they saw him pull a gun on the student. Witnesses also state that the suspect and the student were spotted getting into an argument before the young man pulled a gun. No gunshots or injuries were reported. This event does not seem to have a connection to the 4chan threat.
Sources: nbcphiladelphia.com, nj.com