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February 17, 2014

Tweet evolves into perceived shooting threat at Missouri State

An angry Twitter post about classes being held during a snowstorm led detectives to knock on a Missouri State University student’s dorm room door after one of his followers sent a follow-up tweet that was interpreted as a vague shooting threat.

An angry Twitter post about classes being held during a snowstorm led detectives to knock on a Missouri State University student’s dorm room door after one of his followers sent a follow-up tweet that was interpreted as a vague shooting threat.

The student tweeted Feb. 4 that he was upset classes were not canceled because of bad weather.

A student at Lincoln University in Jefferson City responded with a tweet saying that the Missouri State student was about “to shoot up his school #MSU BEWARE.”

In the end, police determined there was no threat and no charges were filed, reported the Springfield News-Leader, which obtained the police investigation report late last week. Officers searched the student’s room and found no weapons.

The university sent out numerous text and email alerts to students, faculty and staff about the troubling tweet, Missouri State spokesman Paul Kincaid said.

Springfield police officers went to the student’s dorm room, where the student said he was expecting them, according to the detective’s report.

“(Student) said he was aware of the tweet and the problems it was going to cause,” the report said.

The student, a junior who is not being identified because he wasn’t charged, said he was surprised by the Lincoln University student’s tweet. He told police he immediately responded to the Lincoln student and told him not to say things like that.

The Missouri State student said he is in the music business and has more than 1,000 Twitter followers, many of whom he doesn’t personally know – including the student in Jefferson City.

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