© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People walk on the campus of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) before the start of the semester, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., May 28 September 2020. REUTERS / Lucy Nicholson
By Keith Coffman
DENVER (Reuters) – A former University of California at Los Angeles faculty member accused of posting online threats of violence aimed at the campus, disrupting a school day, was arrested in Colorado on Tuesday. when at odds with police, officials said.
Matthew Christopher Harris, 31, came to the attention of authorities Monday night after an 800-page manifesto mentioning mass shootings and bombings was allegedly emailed to Harris by Harris. students and faculty at the UCLA philosophy department where he once taught, police said.
As a precaution, university officials canceled in-person classes for all 31,000 students on the Los Angeles campus on Tuesday, UCLA officials said in a statement, while enforcement officials The law launched an interstate manhunt for Harris.
UCLA campus police tracked the former guide to an apartment building in Boulder, Colorado, across from the flagship campus of the University of Colorado, and notified authorities there, Sheriff Maris Herold said in a press conference.
When Harris realized early Tuesday that police had surrounded the apartment building, he sent additional “threats to several people,” which “raised the level of concern,” police said. in a statement.
In response, Boulder police evacuated a nearby elementary school and sent reverse 911 calls advising the public in the vicinity to stay indoors.
Herold said law enforcement negotiators were in contact by phone with Harris, who eventually surrendered without incident about four hours after the siege began.
The heavy police presence has rattled residents of the Boulder neighborhood, just two miles from the grocery store where a lone gunman killed 10 people in a shooting last year.
Boulder County Attorney Michael Dougherty said Harris has been detained under state charges, but because of the alleged threats involving multiple states, he could also face federal charges .
Harris tried to buy a handgun in Colorado last fall but the purchase was denied because a background check showed a protective order was filed against him in California, Dougherty said.
Herold said the written manifesto contained thousands of “very disturbing” references to violence, including references to “bombs” and “schoolyard massacres”. According to police, Harris is also suspected of posting threatening videos online.
Los Angeles television station KABC reported the footage in question involved hundreds of clips, including video of the 2017 mass shooting at a Las Vegas music festival and the 1999 massacre at a high school. Columbine in Littleton, Colorado.
Police did not immediately disclose the specific grievances Harris may have raised in the threats he is accused of making.
UCLA officials said face-to-face classes will resume as usual on Wednesday because Harris is in custody.
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