Officials at Cheyney University were on alert following a Thursday morning Twitter message from a disgruntled student promising a “Columbine” style massacre at the school.
According to reports, classes continued and rumors that the university was on lockdown proved to be false. Spokesperson for Cheyney University Pam Carter said officials know who is responsible for the message, but are still trying to determine what the motive was.
“A threatening Twitter message was recently received by the institution,” Carter said in an official press release. “The appropriate law enforcement and other officials were immediately notified. Further, we immediately notified the campus community and are keeping them informed. In response to the message, the university has taken the following measures: a police officer is stationed at the roads onto the campus and will screen incoming cars. Additional police officers are being brought onto campus and the district attorney and PASSHE officials have been contacted. The administration is confident that all steps have been taken to ensure that staff and students are not in immediate danger. Classes and activities are continuing as usual, and we are continuing to monitor to resolve this issue. Our number one priority is the safety of the campus community.”
Cheyney University of Pennsylvania is the nation’s oldest, historically Black institution of higher-learning.
In an unrelated criminal investigation, a scheduled preliminary hearing for a mother accused of murdering two of her babies and poisoning her 4-year-old daughter was postponed on Wednesday until September.
Stacey Newkirk Smalls, 41, allegedly killed her children because she believed that her husband was having an extramarital affair with her daughter from a previous relationship. Smalls was arrested on May 24 after her husband, Ron Smalls, came home to find the 18-month-old twins dead and the 4-year old unconscious. Small had also slit her wrists after allegedly trying to drown and then strangling the infants and poisoning the older daughter.
Smalls has been charged with two counts of murder and related offenses in the case.
In another unrelated murder investigation, police announced they have identified a suspect in a deadly shooting that happened outside the PYT restaurant located at the Piazza at Schmidt’s.
The suspect has been identified as Steven Miller, 22. At around 12 a.m. on June 13, in the 1000 block of North Hancock Street, gunfire exploded. The victim, identified as Maurice Kimble, 24, was shot twice in the head and once in the groin by a still unknown assailant. Kimble was rushed to Hahnemann University Hospital where he was pronounced dead by physicians at 2:40 a.m.
As of this posting, Miller remains at large. Anyone with information is asked to call Philadelphia’s homicide unit 215-686-3334/35.