Officials at the University of North Carolina Asheville ordered the college’s students and staff to shelter in place on Friday after an unidentified suspect reportedly made a direct threat to the community if a Black Lives Mater mural wasn’t painted over.
What are the details?
According to the Asheville Citizen Times, officials issued the order after several offices at the university reportedly received an email containing a “direct threat” to the college community, which also demanded that the college’s Black Lives Matter mural be covered up with new paint.
“The email demanded that the Black Lives Matter mural on University Heights on campus be painted over,” a portion of the notice read. “A decision has been made to send a Bulldog Alert to all faculty, staff, and students to shelter in place until further notice. We ask that employees, other than essential personnel, stay away from campus today.”
The notice added, “We are working with the authorities to keep our campus safe and to return to the work of the university.”
The outlet reported that the school hopes to have the campus reopened as soon as possible, but not before Saturday morning.
The outlet reported that students were “nervous” over the alleged threats.
The school’s Black Lives Matter mural — which was painted by black students on Sept. 30 — took about 8 hours to complete, according to the school’s website.
One senior instrumental in creating the mural told the outlet in an email that the campus felt “very eerie and silent” amid the lockdown.
“There isn’t anyone around except police, security, and the people who run the residence halls,” she said. “I think the campus is handling it very well and being very safe. Personally, I am nervous, as my name is on that mural as well as my friends’ who also painted it. I don’t want any of us to be targeted.”
The Citizen Times noted that campus communications manager Steve Plever “declined to describe the nature of the threats in more detail.”
Chancellor Nancy J. Cable declined to provide further details.
A 2 p.m. ET update on the university’s Facebook page read, “We write to give you a campus community update. UNC Asheville is currently in ‘shelter in place’ status and will be sustained until further notice. Multiple law enforcement agencies are working together with UNC Asheville Campus Police to continue the investigation.”