Police: Student Accused Of Emory Shooting Threat Says It Was A Joke


ATLANTA — Police say that an Emory student, arrested for threatening to carry out a mass shooting at Emory’s Oxford College, told the arresting officer she meant it as a joke.

Other Emory University students told 11Alive’s Blayne Alexander the threat was posted to Yik Yak, an anonymous messaging service. Students screen-captured the threat – later attributed to Emily Hikari Sakamoto – and called 911. The message said, “I’m shooting up the school. Tomorrow. Stay in your rooms. The ones on the quad are the ones who will go first.”

The threat was specific to Emory’s Oxford College in Newton County, where she is a sophomore, authorities said.

Police say Sakamoto confessed to posting the message, and, according to the arrest warrant, “The defendant stated she thought it was a joke and not against the law.”

However, she’s now facing a felony charge for terroristic threats. The Sheriff’s Office said she bonded out of jail Monday evening.

“Even if it is a joke, I think it should be treated as a serious offense,” sophomore Kenquavius McCollum said.

Many students including McCollum, who heard about the post through social media apps such as Yik Yak, were angry about the threat and they took it seriously.

“There are certain things that you can joke about, but saying that you’re going to shoot the school campus isn’t really one of those things,” McCollum said.


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