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A classroom building at MO State University was locked down for a short time Thursday morning following the discovery of a threatening e-mail. Michele Skalicky reports.
Craig Hall at Missouri State University was locked down for about 45 minutes at around 7:45 Thursday morning after threatening e-mails were sent to a professor in the Modern and Classical Languages Department and to the head of that department.
The e-mail was forwarded to Missouri State President Dr. Michael Nietzel's office. Dr. Nietzel says that office then notified the Mo State Safety and Transportation Department and the Springfield Police Department, which has a substation on campus
"The individual was stopped inside Craig Hall, the individual who we believe sent the e-mail, by officers. That individual has been detained and is being questioned."
Springfield Police Officer Grant Story says they arrested 30-year-old MO State student Christopher Suttles of Phillipsburg, who was apparently at Craig Hall for a makeup exam. He's a junior majoring in foreign languages.
Dr. Nietzel says Craig Hall was locked down so officers could conduct a search of the building
"they determined at the end of that search that it was safe to be reopened and we did so. At this point classes are being held as scheduled at MO State University."
Gary Snavely, director of MO State's Safety and Transportation Dept., says, while he couldn't divulge details of the e-mail, they determined that it was a threat. Officer Story says the e-mails contained threatening messages aimed at students of varied ethnic backgrounds.
Awareness of the need to be prepared for an emergency situation was heightened following the tragedy at VA Tech Monday. Nietzel says he feels confident the situation Thursday morning was handled in the best way possible.
He says the threat was a possible ripple effect of the shooting massacre in Virginia.