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Students, employees allowed to return to campus after Elizabeth City State University receives bomb threat

A spokeswoman for ECSU said that operations on the campus had returned to normal several hours after the HBCU received the threat.

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. — Elizabeth City State University said that members of the college community could return to campus hours after they had to leave it because of a bomb threat Friday.

After the school received the threat, Stephanie Marquis, a spokeswoman for the university, said that ECSU followed emergency plans that included:

  • Asking all students and employees with cars to go home
  • Having students with cars to report to the South Park Sports Complex so that ECSU could account for all students
  • Having students without cars go to the Roebuck Stadium Parking Lot for evacuation

Marquis said the university also asked students to contact their parents to let them know they have left campus.

At 3 p.m., the university said dorms and perimeter buildings had been inspected thoroughly and had been cleared. Any students returning to campus were asked to continue to shelter in place, and she school said people should continue to avoid the campus area.

Around 5:45 p.m., the school said all operations were back to normal on campus and that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was handling the case.

ESCU provided this information as part of its update:

  • Our University Police Department received a call this morning from an unknown number with a bomb threat.
  • Within minutes, ECSU was executing its emergency response plan to alert and evacuate campus, and law enforcement partners had responded to the scene.
  • Every building on the ECSU campus was searched and no threat was found. 
  • The university has returned to normal operations, and employees will resume their normal working schedule.

Chancellor Karrie G. Dixon said, “We are grateful that students, faculty and staff are safe and sound. Thank you to the University Police Department and our law enforcement partners who acted quickly and supported us in responding to this threat today."

ECSU became one of many historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to receive threats recently. The list includes Norfolk State University which had a bomb threat Friday, also.

On Wednesday, Feb. 23, Hampton University received a threat which led to a lockdown of the campus and an order to shelter in place.

Earlier in the month, the FBI said it was "continuing to aggressively investigate the ongoing nationwide bomb threats targeting Historically Black Colleges and Universities, houses of worship, and other faith-based and academic institutions."

The FBI said from Jan. 14 to Feb. 16, there were 57 institutions across the United States that were targeted. It said the bomb threats came via phone calls, email, instant messages, and anonymous online posts. Agents from a number of offices were conducting hundreds of interviews and gathering a variety of electronic evidence.

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