UPDATE – 8 p.m. Sunday
No individual is in custody following a shooting threat against women at the University of Michigan, Mara Schneider, special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the Detroit field office, confirmed in a Sunday 7:40 p.m. email to The Michigan Daily.
“We are still collecting & reviewing evidence to determine whether the threat was made in violation of either state or federal law,” Schneider wrote. “There won’t be a referral to a prosecutor’s office until that review is complete.”
ORIGINAL STORY – 7:09 p.m. Sunday
Classes and activities at the University of Michigan will take place “as scheduled” on Monday, University President Mark Schlissel announced Sunday evening in an email addressed to members of the campus community. Many on campus have been shaken by the shooter threat against women that was anonymously posted on the Russian confession platform Sinn List, which circulated on social media on Saturday.
According to Schlissel’s email, the individual who posted the “bigoted and misogynistic” threat is located on the East Coast. The Division of Public Safety and Security had previously announced that “there is nothing to indicate imminent harm to our community.”
“What we know today from the FBI is that the threat has been mitigated, and there is no current or pending threat based on the post,” Schlissel wrote.
Mara Schneider, special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the Detroit field office, wrote in a statement to The Michigan Daily that the FBI interviewed the individual determined to be responsible for the post and found that there was no threat to the University community.
“Special agents from the FBI’s Baltimore Division, which covers the entire states of Maryland and Delaware, contacted the individual, who has been cooperative with law enforcement,” Schneider wrote. “During the interview, agents assessed the individual had neither the means nor the opportunity to carry out the threat.”
An update from DPSS posted at 6:50pm on Sunday reiterated the FBI’s statement that there is no current threat to the community.
“DPSS is confident that any threat from the post has been addressed and mitigated,” DPSS Executive Director Eddie Washington said in the statement. “In collaboration with our partners, we have conducted an assessment of the individual who made the post.”
Heather Young, DPSS director of strategic communications, said she could not comment on whether the individual is in custody when asked by The Daily because the investigation is still ongoing.
“Evidence is still being collected and reviewed in this case,” Young wrote. “It’s an open investigation, and we cannot provide any additional information.”
The DPSS update said that threat assessment “includes accounting for all information available and the totality of the circumstances such as evaluating an individual’s means, opportunities, and influence to cause harm.”
Schlissel’s announcement comes after a student petition circulated Sunday calling for classes to be moved online. Instructors and supervisors have been asked to be understanding and flexible when possible with classes tomorrow, Schlissel wrote.
“While the investigation by our Division of Public Safety and Security and FBI found no threat tomorrow, the post and the hateful views it expressed are deeply frightening and upsetting, causing trauma and heightened levels of anxiety,” Schlissel wrote. “We are sad and profoundly disturbed that violence and threats directed at groups are far too frequent on our campus and across the nation.”
Since the threat began circulating on social media Saturday, students, faculty and staff expressed concern and fear over coming to campus Monday. According to Sunday’s petition, which garnered more than 2,000 signatures as of time of publication, the University’s choice to not require classes to be moved online threatened the mental and physical safety of students.
“By allowing in-person activities and classes, the University has effectively granted individual instructors and supervisors the power to determine whether their students and workers must place themselves in danger,” the petition reads.
Several professors have already chosen to move Monday’s classes online, or made in-person attendance optional and provided asynchronous options.