Police investigating incident that led to evacuation of college campus

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 11
Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 11:00 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 28, 2023 at 12:14 PM EDT
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Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 11

MIDDLESBORO, Ky. (WYMT) - An investigation is underway after a student is accused of sending threatening messages to several members of the staff at one community college campus.

Police were called to the Middlesboro campus of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College (SKCTC) Tuesday morning.

Amy Simpson, the Director of Communications and Public Relations, tells WYMT the incident triggered a lockdown, but the student involved never came to campus. Police said they have been in contact with the person who sent the messages. They are unsure if charges will be pressed against the person.

She said once police gave the go-ahead, they evacuated the campus and closed it for the rest of the day. We are told everyone is ok.

Weekday broadcast of WYMT Mountain News at 11

In a statement, SKCTC President Vic Adams said “Around 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, March 28, 2023, a Southeast student who attends the Middlesboro Campus sent electronic messages that contained threatening language to multiple college officials. In response, the Campus was evacuated and closed for the rest of the day. We did this to err on the side of caution and for the safety of our students, faculty, and staff.”

We are told that Middlesboro ARH also went into lockdown this morning as a precaution, do their close proximity with SKCTC.

“Now a-days any type of threat you get on a campus or at a school you have to take those as real and you have to investigate those and get to the bottom to see if it’s a real threat or not,” said Sergeant Harvey Johnson with the Middlesboro Police Department.

Johnson said the school did exactly what they should have done in that situation, following their crisis management plan.

“That’s one thing that we want to ensure, is that our faculty, staff and students are aware that we are well prepared to protect them and to keep them safe, so we felt that was the necessary protocol with the crisis management plan,” said Rebecca Jon Johnson, Vice President of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College.

The Middlesboro Police Department is in charge of the investigation.