Update (5:00 p.m. Thursday)
Shawn Burns, the chief of the West Texas A&M University Police Department, penned a letter to the university and Canyon communities, providing further details into Wednesday’s incident that occurred on the university’s Canyon campus which resulted in an arrest.
In the letter, Burns stresses that despite social media rumors, there was not an active threat or attack on the campus. Officials with the department were tracking a person of interest after they heard reports of a person making “threatening statements” while on the campus. The department then “took immediate action” to locate the person, who was not identified by Burns.
At the same time, social media platforms rapidly spread misinformation of an immediate threat on campus. This triggered high call volume for UPD and other local law enforcement agencies,” Burns said in the letter. “The local police agencies responded per their received reports of an active shooter on-campus. I commend the response of the Randall County Sheriff’s Office, Canyon Police Department, and the Department of Public Safety for their swift action in assisting and partnering with UPD to keep our campus safe.”
As the events on campus occurred, Burns said the University Police Department worked with local law enforcement in the community in which the person lived. According to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com, the person was found in Tulia and placed under custody by the Tulia Police Department.
After the person was detained, Burns said the University Police Department “took custody of, transported and booked the person into the Randall County Jail for felony Terroristic Threat.”
Burns said the department will review “all aspects” of Wednesday’s incident to “identify strengths and weaknesses of operations for future preparedness.”
“Thank you for your support and trust in University Police Department officers and personnel,” Burns said in the letter. “Providing safety and security for West Texas A&M University campuses and local communities are our highest priority.”
Update (5:12 p.m.)
Officials with the West Texas A&M University Police Department released more information regarding Wednesday afternoon’s incident on its Canyon campus via its Facebook page.
Officials with the department said they were made aware of an incident “involving a student making threatening comments to other students.” The statement, according to the post, constituted an offense under a portion of the Texas Penal Code that outlines “Terroristic Threats.”
Officers from the department, along with officers from other agencies, responded to the scene immediately, the post read. They said officials were “prepared for an active shooter event.”
“This swift and overwhelming response was due partly to social media rumors of an active shooter attacking our university, a situation we do not take lightly,” the post read. “Upon the initial investigation at the scene, it was found that there was no active attack taking place.”
After officials found that no “active attack” was taking place, the post read that officers began trying to locate the suspect as part of their investigation. After “several witness statements,” officers determined a terroristic threat had been made. The suspect was later found in Tulia and placed under custody by the Tulia Police Department.
Update (3:52 p.m.)
In a statement provided to MyHighPlains.com by officials with West Texas A&M University, officials said:
“West Texas A&M University Police Department sought a student of interest today on campus following reports of threatening statements. Despite social media rumors, there was no active threat on campus. The student was placed into custody in Tulia by mid-afternoon Sept. 28. More information will be released as it becomes available.”West Texas A&M University Officials
Update (3:43 p.m.)
Officials from the West Texas A&M University’s Police Department said that the “student of concern” has been “placed in custody,” according to a statement made on its Facebook page.
“The all-clear has been given by UPD and all students, faculty and staff may resume their normal activities,” the post on the department’s Facebook page read. “We will continue to update our campus community with information as we complete the investigation.”
CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with West Texas A&M University have said there is no confirmed threat to the university’s Canyon campus after alleged reports.
This comes after the university’s police department was made aware of a group text “sharing information concerning a student of interest,” a statement provided to MyHIghPlains.com said. Officials said that officials with the department are currently looking for the student.
“There has been NO confirmed threat to campus,” the statement read.