Online threats heighten tensions at University of Missouri

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University of Missouri Survives Tense Night of Threats

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- University of Missouri police on Wednesday arrested a 19-year-old man suspected of posting online threats to shoot black students and faculty, adding to the racial tensions at the heart of the protests that led to the resignations of two university leaders earlier this week.

Campus police arrested Hunter M. Park, 19, in Rolla at 1:50 a.m. and took him to jail in Columbia, about 75 miles to the northwest. He was booked on a preliminary charge of suspicion of making a terrorist threat and hadn't been formally charged as of mid-morning. His bond is $4,500.

SEE ALSO: The Mizzou media professor who called for 'muscle' against a journalist just issued an apology

The posts discovered on the anonymous location-based messaging app YikYak and other social media Tuesday threatened to "shoot every black person I see." They followed the resignations on Monday of the University of Missouri System's president and the chancellor of its flagship campus in Columbia.

"We had additional officers on patrol last night and the campus remained safe," Major Brian Weimer said in a statement. "We investigated a number of reports and tips and take every one of them seriously."

There were other threats, and authorities didn't say if additional arrests are possible. Another threat said: "Some of you are alright. Don't go to campus tomorrow." The message seemed to echo one that appeared on the website 4chan - a forum where racist and misogynistic comments are common - ahead of the deadly campus shooting at an Oregon community college last month.

Protests surrounding race at the University of Missouri:

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Missouri football protests, racial tensions
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Online threats heighten tensions at University of Missouri
University of Missouri students circle tents on the Carnahan Quadrangle, locking arms to prevent media from entering the space following the resignation of President Timothy W. Wolfe on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015. (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS via Getty Images)
Student protesters on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia react to news of the resignation of University of Missouri system President Tim Wolfe on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015. Wolfe resigned under pressure from student protesters who claimed the president had not done enough to address recent racially-motivated incidents on the campus. (David Eulitt/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images)
A woman passes a tent encampment set up by student protesters following an announcement that University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe is resigning Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, at the university in Columbia, Mo. Wolfe resigned Monday with the football team and others on campus in open revolt over his handling of racial tensions at the school. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
FILE - In this Friday, April 11, 2014, file photo, University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe participates in a news conference in Rolla, Mo. Missouri football players announced Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, on Twitter that they will not participate in team activities until the university president is removed from office. The move aligns the team with campus groups who have been protesting the way Wolfe has dealt with issues of racial harassment during the school year. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)
COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 9: Jonathan Butler, a University of Missouri grad student who did a 7 day hunger strike is greeted by the crowd of students on the campus of University of Missouri - Columbia on November 9, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. Students celebrate the resignation of University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe amid allegations of racism. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 9: Members of Concerned Student 1950 celebrate after the resignation of Missouri University president Timothy M. Wolfe on the Missouri University Campus November 9, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. Wolfe resigned after pressure from students and student athletes over his perceived insensitivity to racism on the university campus. (Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 9: Protesters celebrate the resignation resignation of Missouri University president Timothy M. Wolfe on the Missouri University Campus November 9, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. Wolfe resigned after pressure from students and student athletes over his perceived insensitivity to racism on the university campus. (Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images)
Jonathan Butler, front left, addresses a crowd following the announcement that University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe would resign Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, at the university in Columbia, Mo. Butler has ended his hunger strike as a result of the resignation. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 9: Tents remain on the Mel Carnahan quad on the campus of University of Missouri - Columbia on November 9, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe resigned today amid protests over racial tensions at the university. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
Students celebrate following University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe's resignation announcement Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, at the school in Columbia, Mo. The president resigned Monday with the football team and others on campus in open revolt over his handling of racial tensions at the school. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 9: Students embrace one another during a forum on the campus of University of Missouri - Columbia on November 9, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. Students celebrate the resignation of University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe amid allegations of racism. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
Students stand in a tent encampment set up by protesters following an announcement that University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe is resigning Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, at the university in Columbia, Mo. Wolfe resigned Monday with the football team and others on campus in open revolt over his handling of racial tensions at the school. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 9: A protester celebrates after the resignation resignation of Missouri University president Timothy M. Wolfe on the Missouri University Campus November 9, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. Wolfe resigned after pressure from students and student athletes over his perceived insensitivity to racism on the university campus. (Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images)
A student claps while standing in a protest movement's camp area following the announcement that University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe is stepping down Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, at the university in Columbia, Mo. Wolfe resigned Monday with the football team and others on campus in open revolt over his handling of racial tensions at the school. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 9: Jonathan Butler (c), a University of Missouri grad student who did a 7 day hunger strike listens along with founding members of the campus group, Concerned Student 1950, during a forum speaking to students on the campus of University of Missouri - Columbia on November 9, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. Students celebrate the resignation of University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe amid allegations of racism. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 9: Protesters celebrate the resignation resignation of Missouri University president Timothy M. Wolfe on the Missouri University Campus November 9, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. Wolfe resigned after pressure from students and student athletes over his perceived insensitivity to racism on the university campus. (Photo by Brian Davidson/Getty Images)
Students dance following University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe's resignation announcement Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, at the school in Columbia, Mo. The president resigned Monday with the football team and others on campus in open revolt over his handling of racial tensions at the school. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
In this Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, photo, members of the Legion of Black Collegians and the Concerned Student 1950 supporters gather outside the Reynolds Alumni Center after an emotional protest on the University of Missouri campus, in Columbia, Mo. Some campus groups have been protesting the way university president Tim Wolfe has dealt with issues of racial harassment during the school year. Jonathan Butler, a black graduate student, is on a hunger strike to call attention to the issue. Missouri football players announced Saturday night on Twitter that they will not participate in team activities until the university president is removed from office. (Ellise Verheyen/Missourian via AP) 
In this Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, photo, a member of Concerned Student 1950 hugs a fellow protestor after the group prayed together in front of the Reynolds Alumni Center on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia, Mo. Some campus groups have been protesting the way university president Tim Wolfe has dealt with issues of racial harassment during the school year. Jonathan Butler, a black graduate student, is in the sixth day of a hunger strike, on Sunday, to call attention to the issue. Missouri football players announced Saturday night on Twitter that they will not participate in team activities until the university president is removed from office. (Sarah Bell/Missourian via AP)
In this Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, photo, members of the anti-racism and black awareness group Concerned Student 1950 embrace during a protest in the Reynolds Alumni Center on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia, Mo. Some campus groups have been protesting the way university president Tim Wolfe has dealt with issues of racial harassment during the school year. Jonathan Butler, a black graduate student, is in the sixth day of a hunger strike, on Sunday, to call attention to the issue. Missouri football players announced Saturday night on Twitter that they will not participate in team activities until the university president is removed from office. (Ellise Verheyen/Missourian via AP)
Missouri tight end Jason Reese, right, speaks with members of the media after leaving the Mizzou Athletics Training Complex on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015, in Columbia, Mo. Student protests over racial incidents on the campus escalated over the weekend when some football players announced they will not participate in team activities until the school's president is removed. (Nick Schnelle/Columbia Daily Tribune via AP) 
Former Missouri receiver L'Damian Washington, left, speaks with tailback Russell Hansbrough and other football players outside of the Mizzou Athletics Training Complex on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015, in Columbia, Mo. Student protests over racial incidents on the campus escalated over the weekend when some football players announced they will not participate in team activities until the school's president is removed. (Nick Schnelle/Columbia Daily Tribune via AP) 
In this Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, photo, a member of Concerned Student 1950 films a protest in Mark Twain Dining Hall on University of Missouri campus, in Columbia, Mo. Some campus groups have been protesting the way university president Tim Wolfe has dealt with issues of racial harassment during the school year. Jonathan Butler, a black graduate student, is in the sixth day of a hunger strike to call attention to the issue. Missouri football players announced Saturday night on Twitter that they will not participate in team activities until the university president is removed from office. (Sarah Bell/Missourian via AP) 
In this Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, photo, members of the Concerned Student 1950 and the Legion of Black Collegians link arms during a protest in Mark Twain Dining Hall the University of Missouri campus, in Columbia, Mo. Some campus groups have been protesting the way university president Tim Wolfe has dealt with issues of racial harassment during the school year. Jonathan Butler, a black graduate student, is on a hunger strike to call attention to the issue. Missouri football players announced Saturday night on Twitter that they will not participate in team activities until the university president is removed from office. (Sarah Bell/Missourian via AP) 
Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin speaks with Concerned Student 1950 supporter Ayanna Poole on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015, as he meets with demonstrators camped out at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. Student protests over racial incidents on the campus escalated over the weekend when some football players announced they will not participate in team activities until the school's president is removed. (Nick Schnelle/Columbia Daily Tribune via AP) 
In this Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, photo, members of the University of Missouri's Legion of Black Collegians and the Concerned Student 1950 supporters react after an on-campus protest, in Columbia, Mo. Some campus groups have been protesting the way university president Tim Wolfe has dealt with issues of racial harassment during the school year. Jonathan Butler, a black graduate student, is on a hunger strike to call attention to the issue. Missouri football players announced Saturday night on Twitter that they will not participate in team activities until the university president is removed from office. (Ellise Verheyen/Missourian via AP)
In this Oct. 1, 2015 photo, Jonathan Butler chants with other students during an anti-racism demonstration inside the University of Missouri Student Center in Columbia, Mo. Butler began his hunger strike on Nov. 2 to call attention to racial problems at the state's flagship university. (Daniel Brenner/Columbia Daily Tribune via AP)
In this Aug. 26, 2015 photo, Jonathan Butler uses a megaphone during a "day of action" demonstration to draw attention to graduate students' demands in front of Jesse Hall on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia, Mo. Butler began his hunger strike on Nov. 2 to call attention to racial problems at the state's flagship university. (Daniel Brenner/Columbia Daily Tribune via AP)
In this Aug. 26, 2015 photo, Jonathan Butler uses a megaphone to encourage others to chant during a "day of action" demonstration celebrating graduate students and draw attention to their demands near the columns on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia, Mo. Butler began his hunger strike on Nov. 2 to call attention to racial problems at the state's flagship university. (Daniel Brenner/Columbia Daily Tribune via AP)
In this Aug. 26, 2015 photo, Jonathan Butler uses a megaphone to encourage others to stand and chant during a "day of action" celebrating graduate students and draw attention to their demands in Traditions Plaza on the University of Missouri campus, in Columbia, Mo. Butler began his hunger strike on Nov. 2 to call attention to racial problems at the state's flagship university. (Daniel Brenner/Columbia Daily Tribune via AP) 
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The posts were widely disseminated across the Internet and local media.

Weimer told The Associated Press additional officers were already on campus before the university learned of the threats. University police were working with other state and local agencies to ensure the campus was secure, he said.

The school's online emergency information center tweeted, "There is no immediate threat to campus," and asked students to not spread rumors.

On campus about 8 a.m. Wednesday, student foot traffic was muted as Steven Loughrige made his way to class. He said he never took the threats seriously because they appeared on social media.

"I'm just disappointed that it escalated," said Loughrige, a white junior studying engineering.

It has been a tumultuous week on the Columbia campus.

The student government president reported in September that people shouted racial slurs at him from a passing pickup truck, galvanizing the weekslong protest movement. A graduate student went on hunger strike to demand the resignation of university system President Tim Wolfe over his handling of racial complaints, then more than 30 members of the Missouri football team went on strike in his support. Those developments came to a head Monday with the resignation of Wolfe and Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, the top administrator of the Columbia campus.

See photos of the Mizzou campus as football players return to practice:

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University of Missouri football players return to practice, campus
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Online threats heighten tensions at University of Missouri
COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 10: Members of the University of Missouri Tigers Football Team return to practice Memorial Stadium at Faurot Field on November 10, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. The university looks to get things back to normal after the recent protests on campus that lead to the resignation of the school's President and Chancellor on November 9. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 10: Members of the University of Missouri Tigers Football Team return to practice at Memorial Stadium at Faurot Field on November 10, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. The university looks to get things back to normal after the recent protests on campus that lead to the resignation of the school's President and Chancellor on November 9. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 10: An exterior of Memorial Stadium at Faurot Field on November 10, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. The university looks to get things back to normal after the recent protests on campus that lead to the resignation of the school's President and Chancellor on November 9. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 10: Members of the University of Missouri Tigers Football Team return to practice at Memorial Stadium at Faurot Field on November 10, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. The university looks to get things back to normal after the recent protests on campus that lead to the resignation of the school's President and Chancellor on November 9. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 10: Members of the University of Missouri Tigers Football Team return to practice Memorial Stadium at Faurot Field on November 10, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. The university looks to get things back to normal after the recent protests on campus that lead to the resignation of the school's President and Chancellor on November 9. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 10: The playing field of Memorial Stadium at Faurot Field is seen prior to practice on November 10, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. The university looks to get things back to normal after the recent protests on campus that lead to the resignation of the school's President and Chancellor on November 9. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 10: Members of the University of Missouri Tigers Football Team return to practice at Memorial Stadium at Faurot Field on November 10, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. The university looks to get things back to normal after the recent protests on campus that lead to the resignation of the school's President and Chancellor on November 9. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 10: University of Missouri Tigers Football Head Coach Gary Pinkel walks to practice Memorial Stadium at Faurot Field on November 10, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. The university looks to get things back to normal after the recent protests on campus that lead to the resignation of the school's President and Chancellor on November 9. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 10: Members of the University of Missouri Tigers Football Team return to practice at Memorial Stadium at Faurot Field on November 10, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. The university looks to get things back to normal after the recent protests on campus that lead to the resignation of the school's President and Chancellor on November 9. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 10: Members of the University of Missouri Tigers Football Team return to practice at Memorial Stadium at Faurot Field on November 10, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. The university looks to get things back to normal after the recent protests on campus that lead to the resignation of the school's President and Chancellor on November 9. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 10: An exterior of Memorial Stadium at Faurot Field on November 10, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. The university looks to get things back to normal after the recent protests on campus that lead to the resignation of the school's President and Chancellor on November 9. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 10: Mizzou Legacy Circle at the Mel Carnahan quad on the campus of University of Missouri - Columbia is seen on November 10, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. The university looks to get things back to normal after the recent protests on campus that lead to the resignation of the school's President and Chancellor on November 9. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 10: A student makes his way across the campus of University of Missouri - Columbia on November 10, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. The university looks to get things back to normal after the recent protests on campus that lead to the resignation of the school's President and Chancellor on November 9. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 10: Gannett Hall at the School of Journalism on the campus of University of Missouri - Columbia is seen on November 10, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. The university looks to get things back to normal after the recent protests on campus that lead to the resignation of the school's President and Chancellor on November 9. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 10: Students walk along on the campus of University of Missouri - Columbia on November 10, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. The university looks to get things back to normal after the recent protests on campus that lead to the resignation of the school's President and Chancellor on November 9. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, MO - NOVEMBER 10: Academic Hall on the campus of University of Missouri - Columbia is seen on November 10, 2015 in Columbia, Missouri. The university looks to get things back to normal after the recent protests on campus that lead to the resignation of the school's President and Chancellor on November 9. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
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A plaza that had been the site of a sit-in by protesters was entirely empty Tuesday night and only a handful of students were seen walking around campus. Police officers from the campus department and city of Columbia were on patrol.

Gaby Rodriguez, a senior, said she was at work when she heard about the online threats.

"It's really disheartening and proves the point of why these protests and boycotts were necessary," Rodriguez said. "I don't think I've ever felt this unsafe at Mizzou," she said, referring to the college by its nickname.

Some students, faculty and alumni have said the protests and top leaders' resignations are the culmination of years of racial tension.

A plaza that had been the site of a sit-in by protesters was entirely empty Tuesday night and only a handful of students were seen walking around campus. Police officers from the campus department and city of Columbia were on patrol.

Gaby Rodriguez, a senior, said she was at work when she heard about the online threats.

"It's really disheartening and proves the point of why these protests and boycotts were necessary," Rodriguez said. "I don't think I've ever felt this unsafe at Mizzou," she said, referring to the college by its nickname.

Some students, faculty and alumni have said the protests and top leaders' resignations are the culmination of years of racial tension.

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