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UCLA Cancels In-Person Classes After Shooting Threat

The front of Royce Hall on the UCLA campus is shown as a student walks toward the building.
A student walks toward Royce Hall on the campus of University of California at Los Angeles on March 11, 2020.
(Robyn Beck
/
AFP via Getty Images)
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One day after returning for in-person instruction, UCLA switched to remote classes on Tuesday after a former lecturer sent an email and posted a video and manifesto threatening a mass shooting.

The person making the threats — identified by authorities as Matthew Harris — also posted a video Monday night alleging that UCLA's philosophy department is "openly racist." The video has since been taken down.

UCLA officials said midday that they'd been informed Harris was in custody in Colorado.

"I am greatly relieved to share that law enforcement officers in Colorado have taken into custody the individual who made threats against some members of our UCLA community yesterday," UCLA officials said in an email sent to students. "While we will continue with our plans to keep instruction remote today, with this development, we will return to in-person instruction tomorrow."

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That email also noted:

The threats made yesterday were frightening for many of us and caused our community to feel vulnerable at an already challenging time. We know many Bruins turned to one another for support. Campus counseling is also available at 310-825-0768 for anyone who needs additional care. These are unsettling times and your well-being is a top priority, so please do not hesitate to reach out for help if you need it.

Harris reportedly studied and lectured at UCLAafter graduating from Duke University. University officials said Tuesday morning that out-of-state law enforcement confirmed he is "under observation" and is not currently in California.

University officials said they had canceled in-person classes for the day "out of an abundance of caution." The university posted telephone numbers for students, faculty and staff in need of counseling.

UCLA had just returned to in-person classes this week, following a return to virtual learningat the start of this year due to concerns about the omicron surge. The campus was among many across the state and nation to make that move — including the other UCs and Cal States.

Julia Paskin contributed to this report.