Last updated 7:43AM ET
August 17, 2017
WIUM Local
WIUM Local
Another Scare at WIU
Horrabin Hall
(wium) - Western Illinois University is investigating two threatening notes found in Horrabin Hall Thursday morning.

The first note was discovered in a classroom that's used as a lab. Later another threatening note was found in an instructor's office.

Public Safety Director Bob Fitzgerald says one of the notes indicated there would be a terrible tragedy on campus on March 26. The other stated that people will perish on campus on March 26. He says the notes did not specify what would happen or where it would happen.

Fitzgerald says the handwriting will be analyzed by Illinois State Police investigators in Springfield.

President Al Goldfarb says the university conducted business as usual and no classes were canceled. "We can't allow these kind of disruptions to shut the campus down," says Goldfarb. "We can't allow these individuals to control our lives in this fashion. That's one of the reasons we're so hopeful we'll find someone and we will be able to punish them and make certain that they recognize that these acts are unacceptable."

A reward fund was started after threats were made against the campus one year ago. The university hopes that will help to encourage someone to come forward with information. Assistant Vice President for Student Services Garry Johnson says "The reality is we need people to step up at this point in time and say 'enough is enough.' It's no longer acceptable to do this sort of thing and disrupt the campus environment."

Security was increased at Western. Personnel from WIU's Office of Public Safety, the Macomb Police Department, the McDonough County Sheriff's Department, and Illinois State Police helped patrol the campus.

It's not known how long the increased police presence will remain. Goldfarb points out the notes were specific regarding the date something might happen.

Horrabin Hall is used for many programs in the College of Education and Human Services. The university's ROTC program is also housed in the building, as is a daycare center.

You can listen to the entire news conference by clicking on the audio button.

WIU says an unrelated threat was discovered a few hours after the Horrabin Hall notes were found. It was written on the wall of a restroom stall in Stipes Hall. The university says the threat indicated an incident would occur at 10:00 Thursday morning in Stipes Hall. WIU considers it a copycat crime and says it will prosecute the person responsible if he/she is found.
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