Univ of Chicago cancels classes over gun violence threat

Chicago - The University of Chicago issued a statement canceling Monday classes at its Hyde Park campus following anonymous online threats of gun violence.

FBI counterterrorism authorities informed university officials on Sunday "that an unknown individual posted an online threat of gun violence against the University of Chicago, specifically mentioning 'the campus quad' on Monday morning at 10 am," read the statement, signed by university president Robert Zimmer.

"Based on the FBI's assessment of this threat and recent tragic events at other campuses across the country, we have decided... to exercise caution by canceling all classes and activities on the Hyde Park campus through midnight on Monday." The threat reflects a grim reality of American life, with campus shootings happening on a semi-regular basis.

On October 1, a gunman opened fire at a community college in Oregon, killing nine before taking his own life.

Deadly shootings were also recorded on a campus in Tennessee on October 22, and on a North Carolina campus on November 1. One person died in each attack respectively.

University of Chicago officials urged students and non-essential staff to stay away or remain indoors if already on campus.

Officials urged students in college housing "to stay indoors and await direct communication" from the college housing staff.

"In response to the threat, the university will have an increased police and security presence on and around campus, including police personnel with visible weapons and other additional measures," the statement read.