Fayetteville State gives all-clear after bomb threat investigation

Josh Chapin Image
Thursday, February 17, 2022
Bomb threat only strengthened bond, Fayetteville State chancellor says
EMBED <>More Videos

Classes at Fayetteville State were canceled after a bomb threat was made on campus.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Classes at Fayetteville State University were canceled Wednesday after a bomb threat on campus. Commuter students and staff members have been told to leave the campus.

FSU also asked residential students to shelter in place.

"I am deeply disturbed by the recent reports of senseless bomb threats directed at HBCUs across our nation and particularly at Fayetteville State University on today," Chancellor Darrell T. Allison said. "Considering this threat, we acted quickly to ensure the health and safety of our university community. This university remains committed to our mission and vision of educating bright leaders all while making safety our first priority."

The university gave the all-clear late Wednesday afternoon for the return of students, faculty and staff members.

"We dealt with it today. We prioritized safety, for our faculty, staff and students," Allison said.

Fayetteville State University will resume normal campus operations on Thursday.

"What evil and hatred would like to do to cause separation, they only made us bond even stronger and have greater unity," Allison said. "We're not going to be intimidated, we're not going to let our brothers and sisters next door be intimated. If the motive was to kind of send a message about hate based on race, they lost tonight. They lost in a big way tonight."

Sapphire Hill, a junior at Fayetteville State, said they had to stay inside their apartments across from campus while police swept the campus.

"I wasn't expecting to have it here," Hill said. ""It's just at HBCUs in general like across the country, they happen, it's craziness. We just want to go to school and just learn and get our degree it's a bottom, a threat is something serious."

It was the second threat made Wednesday against a North Carolina Historically Black College and University. Earlier Wednesday, Winston-Salem State University received a bomb threat.

The FBI said it was aware of the bomb threat at FSU and provided assistance to the university.

Numerous Historically Black Colleges and Universities have received threats recently and the FBI said It is too soon to say whether this incident is connected to the other recent threats.

RELATED: Saint Augustine's, other HBCUs resilient after nationwide bomb threats

"The FBI takes all threats seriously and we are committed to thoroughly and aggressively investigating these threats," the FBI said in a statement.

University police closed all exits for entering the campus, except for the main exit on W.T. Brown Drive.

Classes at Fayetteville State University have been canceled after a bomb threat was made on campus.

Campus police conducted sweeps of buildings and grounds to find devices that may have been in suspicious packages or hidden in trash receptacles, work areas, foliage, and other obscure places.

Fayetteville Police, Cumberland County deputies, along with the SBI, Highway Patrol and other agencies assisting with the search of campus.

"'I'm glad today's threat here at Fayetteville State is being investigated," a Fayetteville State professor said in a tweet. "Seeing everyone pouring out of campus, it struck me the different ways we're a community hub and the threats are a direct attack on civil rights. Safety and peace to the Bronco community."

Fayetteville State's basketball game Wednesday night was moved to Methodist University in the March F. Riddle Center.

Allison said he wanted to ensure the team got to play their senior night games; so he called Methodist University President Dr. Stanley T. Wearden.

"He is an individual who might not look like me but cares very deeply about community and about me," Allison said. "They opened up their arms. We're able not just to have a game but honor our seniors and do that together as family."

Anyone who sees anything suspicious or has information about potential threats is asked to notify campus police at (910) 672-1775 or call (800) CALL FBI or submit a tip to tips.fbi.gov.

A spokesperson for Winston-Salem State said they are working with local law enforcement on a building-by-building search. That investigation is about 90% complete.

The spokesperson said the campus is secure and everyone is "doing fine."

In South Carolina, another HBCU, Claflin University in Orangeburg, also received a bomb threat resulting in canceled classes.

Claflin got an all-clear later in the day.

See breaking news? Tell us about it here.