Students react to online threats
WTOP's Neal Augenstein reports from College Park, Md.
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - A University of Maryland student has been arrested for posting online that he would go on a campus "shooting rampage."
University of Maryland Police say Alexander Song posted comments on the Internet regarding going on "a shooting rampage" "on campus." Song also reportedly wrote "hopefully I kill enough people to make it to national news" and "stay away from the Mall tomorrow at 1:30."
A posting on the site reddit.com believed to be from Song says "I'm thinking about going on a shooting rampage all around campus until the police come and kill me."
Another poster tried to talk him out of it.
"Trust me, no matter how tough things seem now, there's good people in the world who are willing to help you and will make sure that you find the happiness you deserve," the poster wrote. "Don't turn your back on them."
Marc Limansky, a spokesman for the University of Maryland police department, says Song's comments were posted to Reddit, as well as to the anonymous chat site Omegle.
Detectives determined that the comments came from Song -- a 19-year-old from Fulton, Md. -- and began searching for him.
He was arrested on campus around 10 a.m. Sunday, and was immediately taken to an area hospital after detectives determined that an emergency psychiatric evaluation was necessary. University President Wallace Loh tweeted his thanks to campus police for their "outstanding and diligent work."
"When we made the arrests, we made steps necessary to ensure that he did not have any weapons on him, or in his access," says Limanksy.
Students on the College Park campus say they're surprised at the news.
"I thought about Virginia Tech. It's just crazy because you would never think that would happen at your school," one student tells WTOP.
"I definitely thought about it after Virginia Tech and the Ohio high school shooting," says another student.
Song faces a misdemeanor charge of disturbing the orderly conduct of the activities, administration or classes at the school. The charge is punishable by a maximum fine of $2,500 and/or as much as six months in jail.
Song, a sophmore in the Gemstone Honors Program, is no longer allowed on campus, and his status as a student has been suspended.
"It affects you more when it's around where you are," says a student. "It's like, '"Wow, it actually does happen.'"
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