The University of Chicago has canceled classes and activities on its campus following a warning by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
FBI counter-terrorism officials informed the university of an online threat of gun violence by an unknown person slated for Monday morning, the university president, Robert Zimmer, said in a statement on Sunday night.
The warning, which specifically mentioned “the campus quad” at 10 a.m., prompted Zimmer to halt all Monday classes immediately.
“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,” Zimmer said in the statement.
The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, the University libraries, the Quadrangle Club, and other campus facilities will also be closed on Monday, but the University of Chicago Medical Center will remain open to patients, with added security measures, according to Zimmer.
He added that police and security presence on and around the campus will be bolstered in response to the online threat.
The university has asked faculty, students and non-essential staff to stay away from the Hyde Park campus on Monday. Students residing on campus were also advised to “to remain indoors as much as possible if they are on campus.”
One student said the quad is “very busy” on Monday mornings, adding that students coming back from Thanksgiving holiday were stunned to learn of the threat through the university’s texts and emails.
Later on Sunday, the Chicago Theological Seminary also canceled all Monday classes due to its “proximity to the University of Chicago.”
Chicago, the third largest US city, has recently become the scene of large protests following the release of a graphic video showing the fatal shooting of 17-year-old black teenager Laquan McDonald by a white police officer.