The SUNY Oneonta campus in central New York was on edge this weekend after a student posted a mass shooting threat on the popular social network YikYak.
Following an investigation by university and state police, Brandon Negron, a 20-year sophomore from New Windsor, was arrested Sunday and charged with "making a terroristic threat, a Class D felony, and second-degree aggravated harassment, a Class A misdemeanor."
“I’m going to shoot up the school," Negron allegedly wrote. "Be prepared Oneonta.”
The message was soon deleted after receiving 5 'thumbs down,' an automatic rule of the app, but cautious students notified to campus police after seeing the post.
"To actually have this threat made against my own school was frightening," a SUNY Oneonta grad student who asked to remain anonymous told Maxim. "You never think it'll happen on your own campus and in a place we call home. It's scary to know someone can take away people's peace of mind so quickly and turn a once safe place into a place people feel scared to go to."
The message, said to be posted sometime between 6:30 and 7 pm on Saturday, was believed to promise an on-campus shooting on Monday, but it wasn't until Sunday afternoon that police were able to confirm the details and make an arrest. Yik Yak, which offers freewheeling communication with a sheen of anonymity, frequently turns over data to law enforcement officials.
While the university gave students detailed email updates every few hours throughout the weekend, it wasn't until word of Negron's arrest and expulsion alleviated anxiety at the central New York school.
Lindsey Kendrick, a senior, hoped that Negron would receive help for whatever issues he'd be suffering from.
"Quite honestly, this guy needs help and it's sad to that he was at this breaking point. I'm sure he's let out signals and signs for help that have been overlooked, as many things are," she told Maxim. "I feel bad for him, his family, and his reputation which is now and forever ruined. He definitely still deserves a punishment, because he could've ruined hundreds of lives had he gone through with it."
"I am just thankful and blessed, that myself, my loved ones, and all of my fellow Oneonta students are relieved and safe," she added.
Negron was arraigned Monday morning in Oneonta City Court and released on bail. He is no longer a student at SUNY Oneonta.
Photos by Facebook.com / Ashley Feetwood