Official: Suspect identified in last week’s bomb threats at Mississippi colleges and universities

Published 5:52 am Wednesday, August 3, 2022

A suspect has been identified in the case of at least 12 bomb threats made Thursday at several Mississippi colleges and universities, a state official told the Clarion Ledger on Monday.

Alcorn State University School of Nursing in Natchez was one of the dozen Mississippi universities that was threatened on Thursday morning.

Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said an anonymous caller using a “spoof number” directly called the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, not 9-1-1, and stated they were standing outside the building with a bomb in a backpack.

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Patten said at the time his deputies were working with the Department of Homeland Security to identify the caller. When identified, Adams County Sheriff’s Office would charge them with making the threat, he said.

On Monday, Keith Davis, deputy commissioner of operations at the Mississippi Department of Public Safety, told the Clarion Ledger a person suspected of making the bomb threats last week had been identified but did not name the suspect.

“I can tell you, without getting too detailed into the investigation, we have identified a source of the bomb threat,” Davis said.

The threats, made at both public and private universities as well as a number of community colleges, occurred a day after similar threats in Alabama and Tennessee, though officials did not say whether those threats were connected to the threats made Thursday in Mississippi.

Thursday was the second time this year that Alcorn State received a threat.

The campus was among several Historically Black Colleges and Universities in Mississippi and across the country to be threatened on the first day of Black History Month. According to other news reports, federal investigators have identified several juvenile suspects in those threats. It is unclear whether arrests had been made or charges filed.