Facebook shooting threat a hoax rocks Grambling and Ruston

;/It was late into the night on Aug. 27, 2018, when a threat against Grambling State University went viral. It did not take long before social media users took screenshots and the image of a man posing credible threats circulated GSU’s campus causing concern amongst students. 

The Facebook account attached to a man named Jarrell L.  Johnson made this post. “I’m going on a murder spree tomorrow [in] Ruston [at] [Louisiana Tech’s] campus and [Grambling’s] campus. I’m killing all ni***** and crayon colors. Fu***** minorities.” 

After further investigation, the Ruston Police Department concluded that someone hacked Johnson’s page.  Johnson was shocked to hear about his account, as Johnson was at home with his family when he found out. “All of a sudden, I was alerted by a phone call that I was being hacked,” said Johnson. 

It was not too long before RPD searched Johnson’s home. There, they found nothing linking him to the threat. “This could not have been me. For me to try to explain to [RPD] that it was not me [was] a tough task.”

Though it was not Johnson making the threats, this post was still unsettling to many students. Among those students is Natahzja Sewell, an on-campus student from Camden, N.J. Sewell, 20, is a mass communication major, and the bulk of her classes are in the Washington Johnson Complex, a building at the start of campus. 

Sewell, being without a car, did not feel safe to walk to her classes from her dorm.

“I was immediately on high alert, and I just wanted to feel safe,” said Sewell. “I am so far from home, and I have no way to get home quickly. There is no accessible late-night transportation in Grambling, so I was completely out of luck. I do not think people understand how hard it is to know that you are potentially unsafe and there is nothing you can do about it.” 

On the other hand, some students were not worried at all after RPD concluded that Johnson’s account was hacked. Shametrashun Walker, 23, is an off-campus student. Walker, a senior majoring in kinesiology, was afraid before knowing all of the facts. 

“When I first read the post, I was scared,” said Walker. “When I did more research, I found the police report saying that he was hacked, so I was no longer worried. Also, the wording of the post made me realize it was probably just some racist guy trying to scare us.” 

Both GSU and LaTech released statements regarding the threat. Both schools summarized that the post was fraudulent and that the schools’ police departments will be on high alert. 

All police departments are still looking to find the source of this post, and people with information regarding the post are asked to share that information.