Online gun threat prompts University of Chicago closure Monday

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The entire University of Chicago campus on the city's South Side is shutdown through at least Monday night after the FBI discovered an online threat of gun violence.

According to an alert to faculty and students went out Sunday night, the threat identified by the FBI specifically mentions a threat of gun violence on the campus quad Monday morning at 10 a.m.

It is unclear how credible the threat is deemed to be, or if the person responsible for posting it has been identified, but the university president sent out the alert just before 8 p.m. Sunday night.

In an email directed toward the entire University of Chicago community, including the lab and charter schools, President Robert J. Zimmer said, "Based on the FBI's assessment of this threat and recent tragic events at other campuses across the country, we have decided in consultation with federal and local law enforcement officials, to exercise caution by canceling all classes and activities on the Hyde Park campus through midnight on Monday. All non-medical faculty, students and non-essential staff are asked not to come to the Hyde Park campus on Monday, or to remain indoors as much as possible if they are on campus."

Students in the college housing have also been asked to stay indoors until they receive further communications.

This is the last week of regular full-time classes at the university before finals.

"I had to cancel office hours. Students immediately emailed me, but I think it's the smart thing to cancel if there is a credible threat," said Professor Matthias Staisch, University of Chicago.

Sunday night, there was already an increased in presence in security and campus police in the area. University officials also say they are keeping in close communication with the FBI, which continues to investigate the threat.

In the meantime, other institutions in the University of Chicago vicinity have also announced Monday closures in reaction to the threat.
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