Otago shooting threat – hoax or not it’s a problem

Yesterday an anonymous person posted a threat on the 4chan bulletin board of a shooting massacre at Otago University on Wednesday. It was then copied to Reddit and Facebook.

OtagoShootingThreat

Whether this is a stupid hoax or a serious threat it is causing a lot of problems and anxiety.

What is 4chan?

4chan is a simple image-based bulletin board where anyone can post comments and share images. There are boards dedicated to a variety of topics, from Japanese animation and culture to videogames, music, and photography. Users do not need to register an account before participating in the community.

Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people and injured 17 at Virginia Tech in 2007.

This afternoon the police put out a statement:

Otago University threat

National News

Dunedin Police are aware of a threat made via an online post that relates to the University of Otago.

Specialist staff are actively investigating the post with assistance from the High Tech Crime Group in Wellington.  Police are also working closely with the Vice-Chancellor and the University.

“Police would like to reassure University staff and students, and the wider Dunedin community, that appropriate measures are being taken in relation to the post,” says Inspector Mel Aitken, acting Area Commander: Otago Coastal.

“Police take any threat seriously while its source and authenticity is being assessed.

“Our advice at this time is to be alert and vigilant but not alarmed while our investigation is ongoing.

“Police will be maintaining a high visibility presence in the area and taking other appropriate steps which we are unable to discuss publicly.

“We are also asking those in the University area to report any suspicious behaviour immediately to Police.

“We understand that a threat of this nature could be concerning to some people. Police, University of Otago and Campus Watch staff will be available to speak with anyone who has concerns.

“Police is experienced at assessing a range of threats and we investigate any matter of concern which comes to our attention. We are also mindful of the possibility of “copy cat” threats following high profile events which occur overseas.   We will deal firmly with any individuals associated with any such copy cat threats.

“Police will communicate any further advice necessary as our investigation progresses, and we will continue to work closely with the University of Otago.” said Inspector Aitken.

So will life go on as usual in Dunedin tomorrow? There are many students and staff at Otago, some of them will have some real concerns for obvious reasons. I know people personally with close associations with the University who have concerns.

Whatever the intent and motives of the person who posted the threat the effects of something like this can be huge.

It shows that in a normally boring old backwater like Dunedin one person can cause major problems without even doing anything real.

And if the person is serious the problems increase substantially.

A state of peaceful living can be easily and quickly be overturned.

Leave a comment

27 Comments

  1. Mike C

     /  6th October 2015

    Why would anybody in Dunedin threaten such a thing?

    Doesn’t make any sense.

    Is it a foreign student who is not happy after failing their exams?

    Someone threatening such a thing has got to be off their rocker.

    Reply
  2. Missy

     /  6th October 2015

    This is very concerning, and I feel for those who attend Otago University – both students and staff. Whether this is real or a hoax it needs to be treated as if it is real by the police, thus using resources and causing inordinate amounts of stress and unnecessary concern to everyone.

    In saying that, I believe it is most likely a hoax, very few people who are about to commit such a crime would announce that they are going to do it and when, thus it is either extremely malicious by someone wanting to cause fear in the community, or it is someone who is very sick and thinks that saying something like this is funny.

    Whatever the truth of it is it is horrible, and must be very frightening for all those who may be affected.

    Reply
    • kittycatkin

       /  7th October 2015

      99.9999% likely to be a hoax…not clever, not funny and a very sick joke indeed. I know that some people do announce it, but not usually with details. Some nutcase wants to be famous.It would be frightening, even if one knew that it was incredibly unlikely to happen. Good work, Chan4. I’d guess that Chan4 is not Chinese.

      Reply
  3. 2ND AMENDMENT

     /  6th October 2015

    Even more reason why everybody in this country should have the right to bear arms!!

    It would certainly make any would-be ‘terrorist nutter’ think twice, if he knew there was something like 18,000 Otago Uni students with legalized Open Carry.

    Reply
    • Mike C

       /  6th October 2015

      @SecondAmendment

      What ???

      You think that New Zealanders should have the right to bear arms ???

      I don’t.

      Look what happens in America.

      Reply
      • 2ND AMENDMENT

         /  6th October 2015

        @Mike C

        Of course we should have the right – abso-bloody-lutety!!!

        But only after the introduction of stringent and comprehensive police vetting procedures, to determine a person’s suitability. This would of course automatically exclude all residents of the Coromandel

        Reply
        • Mike C

           /  7th October 2015

          @SecondAmendment

          I will choose to take your above comment about Coromandel Residents as a compliment 🙂

          We are a simple folk up here, who get more pleasure out of planting things … than from shooting people. LOL.

          Reply
        • Zedd

           /  7th October 2015

          @2nd A

          What a load of B-S !
          we have enough problems here, without adding to it.
          I for one, do not want to see, Aotearoa/NZ to become like USA.. ‘right to bear arms’. **’Armed offenders’ need to be dealt with by AOS (Police), not citizen militia etc. 😦

          IF you want to see this.. may I suggest you move to USA.. ASAP !!!

          Reply
          • 2ND AMENDMENT

             /  7th October 2015

            @ Z

            What….and leave this country to a pack of crim-huggers like you? 😦

            Reply
        • Joe Bloggs

           /  7th October 2015

          @ 2nd A

          What a feckless, reckless, irresponsible clod-witted idea! Clearly you are either running a wind-up or you ghoose to ignore Murika’s armed insanity

          Reply
          • 2ND AMENDMENT

             /  7th October 2015

            Finally – someone has twigged to the fact, that the suggestion ‘to arm 18,000 Otago Uni Students’ was a wind-up!

            Good on ya’ Joe boy – at least there’s somebody out there with a sense of humour!! 🙂

            Reply
      • DaveG

         /  6th October 2015

        We do t have the right to bear arms here in Aussie it’s almost impossible to have a gun licence and keep a firearm in your home.

        Then look at our crime rate involving firearms and shootings, it blows your theory to bits !! The worse the Crims the more Weapons they have, but Crims were never good at following and staying within the law!

        Reply
    • That does a lot of good preventing shootings in the US?

      Reply
      • 2ND AMENDMENT

         /  6th October 2015

        Particularly when it was reported after the latest campus massacre, that the University Board of Governor’s had voted AGAINST the sole security guard being allowed to carry a weapon!

        Go figure…..

        Reply
    • jaspa

       /  6th October 2015

      People who do this don’t care about getting shot themselves. 18,000 students carrying guns around Dunedin sounds like a recipe for disaster.

      Having said that, I hope the police have organised to send the South Island’s gun down to Dunedin, just in case. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Zedd

     /  7th October 2015

    Could be some ‘copycat’ nutter.. BUT, why would someone advertise their intention to do this ?
    Maybe its an angry or failing student deliberatley wishing to disrupt & frighten the staff & students ? 😦 😦
    I wont be going up the north end of town, anytime soon….

    Reply
    • Mike C

       /  7th October 2015

      @Zedd

      I hate to keep agreeing with you … but you are the only commenter in here that has written almost exactly what I also think.

      Who would advertise their intention to kill people … and why does the name of the person they are “Massacre Mimicking” sound Asian?

      Something is odd about this situation.

      Reply
      • kittycatkin

         /  8th October 2015

        Anyone can use a name that sounds Chinese, which Chan is. Asian could be anything.

        Reply
  5. tealeaves

     /  7th October 2015

    And now Victoria University has a bomb scare. It’s an uprising.

    Reply
    • Mike C

       /  7th October 2015

      @TeaLeaves

      You sounded almost blasé when you wrote your above comment … which is extremely worrying in itself 😦

      Reply
      • tealeaves

         /  7th October 2015

        I think someone’s bluffing. Sorry, if I’m insufficiently convinced to qualify as morally sound by your compass.

        Reply
  6. kittycatkin

     /  7th October 2015

    I’d like the penalty for these things to be so severe that nobody would risk it. I am not a lock ’em up and throw away the key girl, but I would love to see these twats sent the bill. This happened when there was a spate of false rape claims some years ago-the ones who made them and sent the police hunting for non-existent rapists were charged with wasting police time and, as I remember, sent the bill.

    Reply

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