Threatening student posts on social media prompt University investigation
UPDATE 1:57 p.m. Tuesday: UH Police Chief Ceaser Moore used the University-wide email system to send out a message with the subject “No Threat to Campus.” The email content reads:
“Last night, UHPD received reports about troubling posts being made on social media. The comments from a former student were at no time directed at UH or any specific audience. However, responding to general concerns voiced on social media, UHPD immediately investigated and confirmed that there was no emergency situation or imminent threat to our campus. We understand such concerns and appreciate those who reported the activity to us.
Many of you may have been unaware of the events that unfolded last night. Rest assured, when there is an actual emergency or credible threat to our campus, a UH Alert will be issued. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the UH Alert notification system by visiting uh.edu/emergency.”
UPDATE 10:15 a.m. Tuesday: UHPD tweeted an explanation for the absence of a UH Alert.
“(They) are issued in an emergency or imminent threat as determined by law enforcement and other authorities. While the posts were concerning, no emergency existed.”
UPDATE 9:41 a.m. Tuesday: The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office took to Twitter to issue the following statement:
“The alleged incident involving @UHouston has been thoroughly investigated by us as the subject resides here. There was NEVER a threat to any institution at all. In fact, the subject has been in the hospital since Sunday. There is no threat.”
The University has said that there is an ongoing investigation into the nature of these posts and classes will continue as normal with the full campus open.
UPDATE 10:35 p.m. Monday: Tweet from @UHPD: “UHPD has been contacted by concerned members of the UH community regarding an individual’s posts on social media. Thank you to the UH community for looking after each other and sharing your concerns. UHPD is looking into the matter.”
The University community was shaken late Monday when a former student made threatening remarks on his public Instagram account toward the University and current students.
The student, Wenkun Zhang, goes by the username “noblederp” on Instagram and uses the account to express text posts of his thoughts and grievances. Two days ago, he switched from posting text over a beach-like background to posting solid blocks of text against an all-white background.
“My new plan is to kill every American, I’m serious kill me now don’t let me do it – Derp,” a post reads from Feb. 25.
Since then, 81 posts have been made, all expressing violent sentiments, condemnations of friends, family, the government and women with most containing suicidal phrases like “kill me,” and outward threats with the words “kill everyone” and “kill u all.”
Student social media users on Twitter, Reddit and GroupMe began showing concern and reaching out to the University to make the threat known on campus and ask whether campus would be open Tuesday.
If you have any information about the student in question, please contact the UHPD at (713) 743-3333