UConn Department of Sociology Threatened With “Armed Response,” Shooting 

UConn uses UConnAlert on students’ emails in the event of an emergency. Occasionally an alert me be sent through other official accounts such as ResLife or UConn staff members. Photo by, Torsten Dettlaff/Pexels.

On Thursday, April 20, the University of Connecticut Department of Sociology received an email implying an armed threat against faculty. 

The email warned of a potential shooting involving firearms against not only a faculty member and those in close physical proximity, but the entire department. The author of the email did not provide a specific day, time or location in which the threatened shooting would be carried out. 

Information regarding the threat was sent through email to both professors in the department and a day later to students within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The student body at large was not informed of this threat through official UConn channels, nor was official instruction given to sociology professors regarding what to discuss with their students. 

According to the email, obtained by The Daily Campus, the threat includes a warning that the sociology department is a “legitimate target for armed response,” and a message to staff instructing them to “begin wearing a bulletproof vest to work.”  

“No advance warning will happen on the specific day of the event,” the anonymous author wrote.  

Following the threat, most sociology classes on campus were moved online, while police continued to maintain a presence around the physical location of the Department of Sociology at Manchester Hall. 

UConn Police investigated the threat and found “no imminent or credible threat to campus safety associated with [the email].”  

Police additionally took the effort of tracing the email back to the Netherlands, but did not provide information on the methods they used for tracking nor whether they took into account the possibility of the anonymous email threat coming from a virtual private network or VPN. Usage of a VPN could mask a user’s IP address associated with their home computer network, including one associated with another country. 

In comments to The Daily Campus, university spokesperson Stephanie Reitz echoed the statement of UConn Police, reiterating that “there is no imminent or credible threat to campus safety” and further emphasizing that UConn “takes all complaints about the community’s safety very seriously.” 

Despite some sociology classes moving their final lectures and discussions of the semester to online platforms, Reitz indicated UConn does not anticipate any adjustments to final exams, which begin next week. Students with questions should reach out to the Dean of Students Office for further information about the finals process.  

Other elements of the email, including the given reason behind the threat, are still being investigated and further details are not being disclosed by the university. The Daily Campus will continue to investigate the situation and will update this story when further evidence emerges. 


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