Following an anonymous threat of gun violence that appeared online over the weekend, the University of Chicago shuttered its main campus, canceling all classes and activities on Monday and advising faculty and students to stay home. Later in the day, the US Attorney in Chicago accused 21-year-old Jabari R. Dean of making threats online to kill 16 of the university's students or members of its staff.
Dean's online posting allegedly made clear that he wanted to exact revenge for the killing of Laquan McDonald by Chicago police last year. The video of McDonald's shooting was released last week, and the officer responsible — Jason Van Dyke — was charged with first-degree murder.
"This is my only warning. At 10AM Monday morning, I'm going to the campus quad of the University of Chicago. I will be armed with an M-4 carbine and two desert eagles, all fully loaded," Dean allegedly wrote on the website worldstarhiphop.com, according to a court document obtain by the Chicago Tribune. "I will execute approximately 16 white male students and or staff, which is the same number of time McDonald was killed."
The note was posted shortly after Jason Van Dkye's family posted bond at $1.5 million, clearing the way for his release on bail.
The University of Illinois at Chicago reported that one of its students had been arrested on Monday. The US Attorney's office did not say if Dean was in fact that student, but announced that he would appear in a courtroom later in the day.
"We are monitoring this situation closely and are concerned about the impact this has had on our campus and the University of Chicago," said Michael Amiridis, chancellor of the University of Illinois at Chicago in a statement.
A LinkedIn page of a student named Jabari R. Dean at the University of Illinois at Chicago states he is a freshman studying engineering, though VICE News could not confirm whether the page belongs to the man who was arrested.
Robert Zimmer, the University of Chicago's president, said in a statement emailed to the university community on Sunday night that the school had decided to cancel classes after FBI counterterrorism officials informed the administration of the threat and deemed it credible. The statement said the anonymous threat warned that some act of violence would take place at the main quadrangle in the center of campus at 10AM on Monday. At the time, the university did not specify where or how the online threat was made, just that it was enough for the FBI to take seriously.