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Penn State Student Facing Terrorism Charges After Shooting Threat

by on October 13, 2014 2:23 PM

A Penn State student is facing terrorism charges after what authorities call a misguided prank inspired a swift response from university police.

Jong Seong Shim, 20, was arraigned Monday morning on misdemeanor charges of making terroristic threats with intent terrorize another, terroristic threats to cause public inconvenience and disorderly conduct after making an online threat to “kill everyone” at the University Park campus, according Penn State University Police and Public Safety Chief Tyrone Parham.

Parham says police were notified of the threat made on social media app Yik Yak by another student at about 9:15 on Sunday morning. The poster of the anonymous threat claimed to have ammunition for an AR-15 rifled that and would use it to shoot people at the Hub-Robeson Center starting at noon on Monday.


“We immediately took this very seriously,” Parham says. “We had a lot of staff that spend the entire day working with the staff at Yik Yak, who were very helpful.”

Though the initial post was deleted, police were ultimately able to obtain information that indicated the post was made from a student apartment at 201 Vairo Boulevard. That led to Shim’s arrest. According to investigators, no weapons were found and Shiim reportedly claimed the post was a prank.

Shim, an engineering sophomore, was unable to post his $100,000 bail and is being held in the Centre County Correctional Facility. Parham says he is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Wednesday, October 22 at 8:30 a.m.

Parham says Penn State police planned on having a dramatically increased police on campus and around the HUB on Monday if they were unable to make an arrest. Though they found Shim before Monday, Parham says there are still more officers than usual patrolling campus.

“We want to reassure our community that they are safe,” Parham says.


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Michael Martin Garrett is a reporter and editor for who covers local government, the courts, the arts and writes the Keeping the Faith column. He's a Penn State alumnus, a published poet and the bassist in a local indie rock band.
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