Bomb threat puts Rutgers University on shelter-in-place mode
🔴 The campus was notified via text and email about a bomb threat at 3:40 a.m. Thursday morning.
🔴 The alert did not specify which of Rutgers' three campuses was affected.
🔴 The alert was canceled at approximately 5:45 a.m. and later called a swatting
It was a few tense hours for Rutgers University students early Thursday morning as a bomb threat sent the school into shelter-in-place mode, according to an alert from the Rutgers police department.
The incident turned out to be a swatting, the third threat of violence made against a New Jersey college this week, according to university spokeswoman Dory Devlin.
The initial message sent via text and email at 3:40 a.m. said an "active bomb threat" was under investigation. The alert did not specify a specific campus, New Brunswick, Newark or Camden. The alert did not appear on Rutgers social media or the Rutgers police Facebook page.
A message sent at 5:44 a.m. lifted the shelter-in-place.
"The Rutgers University New Brunswick/Piscataway Campuses have been deemed safe. Please return to normal operating procedures," read the message.
Early morning search
Devlin told New Jersey 101.5 the Rutgers police communications center received call threatening several buildings on the school's College Avenue campus in New Brunswick. Rutgers police and bomb detection dogs from the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office searched the buildings and did not locate any explosive or suspicious devices.
"The initial investigation confirmed that the incident was likely the result of a purposeful, non-credible threat known as 'swatting,' Devlin said.
An investigation is ongoing into the origin of the call. Rutgers police asked anyone with information about the threat to call 848-932-8025.
A swatting call was made to Rider University's Public Safety Department Monday that sent the school into a shelter-in-place mode for an hour.
Earlier threats of violence
Saint Elizabeth University, Saint Elizabeth high school, Farleigh Dickinson University and Madison public schools all went on shelter-in-place status around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday after an individual walking near NJ Transit’s Covent Station reported that a man made a threat of violence and was potentially armed, according to Morris County Prosecutor Robert Carroll.
No person matching the description of the person making the threat was located after a search of the Saint Elizabeth University campus.