Lake Michigan College set to reopen Saturday after potential threat
All Lake Michigan College campuses shut down on Friday due to a security concern, and all evening events have been canceled.
Michigan State Police say a maintenance worker who was fired from the Benton Township campus on Thursday made a general threat.
Detectives interviewed the man for 45 minutes on Friday.
They determined he was a disgrunted employee who made no specific, credible threat.
"It's hard for us to say what was going through his mind. He was upset and he made some comments," said Michigan State Police Sgt. Ryan Schooveld. "Although he made some comments, he said nothing specific toward the college or any employee or anybody, in particular."
But school officials did not want to take any chances.So, as they heard about the possible threat decided to evacuate and close down all four campuses in southwest Michigan.
"It was reported to college administration by third parties that the former employee was making threats to retaliate," said LMC spokeswoman Laura Kraklau in a statement. "The college reported this to the Benton Township police, Michigan State Police and the FBI. The Michigan State Police and FBI investigated the matter and have reported that they do not believe the individual to be a threat."
"Prior to the law enforcement agencies' investigation of the matter, and based upon the employee's behavior during the termination and the reports of threats of potential violence, the college took precautionary steps to protect the College community by closing all of its campus locations," Kraklau continued.
Kraklau says based on the latest information from law enforcement agencies, all LMC campuses will reopen Saturday for regular operation and events.Around 11:50 a.m. Friday, students and staff were told to go home.Olivia Vaughn, a first-year student from St. Joseph, was in cheer practice at the Benton Township campus, when she was told to leave because of a security threat."It was a little scary because I didn't know what would happen," said Vaughn. "Trying to leave, the parking lot was crazy, long lines to get out."LMC has campuses in Benton Township, Benton Harbor, Niles and South Haven that were all alerted.
This is the end of the semester so many buildings were packed with students taking finals.Before troopers could get to the former employee, LMC decided on its own to close its campuses.And Vaughn believes given the history of recent school shooting that was the right call."I think it was good that they took that precaution," added Vaughn.
Police tell us the former employee has no known history of violence.