A freshman student at a Missouri college has been arrested after police said he threatened to shoot black students in a post on a social media app.
Connor Stottlemyre, 19, a freshman at Northwest Missouri State University, was charged Wednesday morning after allegedly posting a threat on Yik Yak, an app that allows users to post anonymously,the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
He was charged Thursday with two counts of making a terrorist threat. One of the charges is a felony and the other a misdemeanor, the Post-Dispatch reports. He is being held at the Nodaway County Jail.
Stottlemyre’s arrest comes after a night of fear for black students at University of Missouri’s Columbia campus, where several threats were seen on social media, including YikYak. Tensions were high on the Mizzou campus after students protested against the administration for its handling of several racist incidents, leading to the resignation of the university system’s president after a hunger strike by a graduate student and a boycott by black members of the football team.
Another Missouri man, Hunter Park, a student at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, was also arrested Wednesday for making terroristic threats on social media, police say.
A third teen, Tyler Bradenberg, of St. Louis County, was arrested Thursday after he allegedly threatened to “shoot up” the Missouri University of Science and Technology campus in Rolla, police say. He also made the threat on Yik Yak, according to police.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Stottlemyre Is Accused of Posting ‘I’m Gonna Shoot Any Black People’ on Yik Yak
Stottlemyre is accused of posting on Yik Yak,”I’m gonna shoot any black people tomorrow, so be ready,” a Northwest Missouri State University spokesman told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Several threats were reported Tuesday after they were posted on Yik Yak. The app allows for anonymous posting and is based on geography, meaning you can only make posts to others in the area where you are. Although the posts are anonymous, they can be tracked.
Mark Hornickel, the university’s spokesman, said police are not sure if the threats were inspired by the protests at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Stottlemyre was arrested Wednesday morning at about 11 a.m. on the college’s Maryville campus.
2. He Also Made a Threat Against ‘Bullies’ Who Live in His Dorm Last Week
Stottlemyre is also accused of posting, “I love evil, I just want to shoot up H&P they’re all bullies especially in Hudson,” on Yik Yak on November 5, according to the Northwest Missourian. He also allegedly posted, “I’m going to once I get enough money to buy a gun.”
“H&P” is a reference to the Hudson-Perrin dormitories, which are connected. He lives in Perrin Hall.
University officials told the Northwest Missourian the first threat did not result in an emergency notification to the campus because the threats were not seen as immediate. An emergency notification was sent out after the second threat.
Police said they did not find any weapons in Stottlemyre’s dorm room.
3. He Tried to Join a Fraternity at Northwest Missouri
According to his Facebook page, Stottlemyre tried to become a member of the Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity at Northwest Missouri State University.
He is seen in a photo in September holding the fraternity’s flag. “Any interest and affiliation was terminated by the chapter in early October,” a spokesman for the fraternity said. “His alleged behavior is not congruent with our standards and principles as an organization.”
4. He Is a Missouri Native
Stottlemyre is a Missouri native. He graduated from Blue Springs Hall School in May.
He is a freshman at Northwest Missouri.
5. Police Are Continuing to Investigate Threats Made Against Black Students in Missouri
Police, at both Northwest Missouri State and the University of Missouri, say they are continuing to investigate the threats made against black students in recent days.
Yik Yak, the company whose app was where multiple threats were made, posted a statement Wednesday on its website saying:
Just like the rest of you, we’ve been following the recent events at University of Missouri and we’ve felt a mix of inspiration, disappointment, hope, and sadness at what the Mizzou community has been going through. Ultimately, we’ve been impressed by the strength of the student body during an extremely tough time.
It’s our hope that the range of discussion on MU’s campus can help to bring about positive resolution and a better understanding within the community. But there’s a point where discussion can go too far – and the threats that were posted on Yik Yak last night were both upsetting and completely unacceptable. Let’s not waste any words here: This sort of misbehavior is NOT what Yik Yak is to be used for. Period. It is not condoned by Yik Yak, and it violates our Terms of Service.