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Jabari Dean, 21, arrested for threatening to kill University of Chicago students

Posted at 5:05 PM, Nov 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-30 17:05:03-05

Jabari Dean, 21, was arrested Monday, accused of threatening to kill students and staff at the University of Chicago, authorities said.

Citing court documents, they said that he had stated in a post on social media that he planned to execute approximately 16 students or staff, as well as “any number of white policemen.”

The University of Illinois at Chicago said Monday that one of its students had been arrested following an investigation into threats made against the University of Chicago.

The threat had led to the closure of the University of Chicago campus Monday.

“We are monitoring this situation closely and are concerned about the impact this has had on our campus and the University of Chicago,” Michael Amiridis, chancellor of the University of Illinois at Chicago, said in a statement.

It was not immediately clear who had arrested the student or on what charges.

The University of Chicago said Sunday that FBI counterterrorism officials had informed the school of a threat, specifically of a shooting on “the campus quad” at 10 a.m. Monday.

“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,” the school said in a statement.

The school asked students and nonessential staff to stay away from campus. Students in college housing were asked to stay inside.

The decision was met with some criticism online.

“Talk about complete panic. .. right now any one of us could shut down anyplace we want with a simple phone call!!” Facebook user Charles Friscia posted to the University of Chicago’s Facebook article announcing the closing.

But others praised the school’s decision to put safety first.

“I am extremely disappointed in the criticism of this decision without any more information than has been provided,” Facebook user Elizabeth Harding wrote. “We have absolutely no idea what type of threat or the degree of danger involved. This must have been a credible threat to have involved the FBI and their ensuing recommendation.”

Last week, Western Washington University canceled classes at its main campus after social media posts suggesting the lynching of a black student government leader as well as other offensive posts.

School President Bruce Shepard didn’t detail the threats and said there was “no threat to general campus safety,” but said a criminal investigation was underway.