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TIMELINE: Arrest of Alexander Song

University Police told media yesterday that the sophomore student was distraught and shaking when they arrested him for threatening to go on a campus "shooting rampage."

police and the university's Office of Information Technology worked through Sunday night to track down 19-year-old sophomore Alexander Song, an honor society student who posted messages online that he would carry out a shooting rampage on campus this week.

Song was charged with disturbing the orderly conduct of activities, administration or classes—a misdemeanor—and taken to a hospital for psychiatric treatment. Chief David B. Mitchell told media at a press conference Monday that Song was "very emotionally distraught" and "shaking and crying" when they arrested him Sunday morning.

“I’m hoping that it was just a kid that needed help, and not someone who was actually going to commit something like that,” Arpan Duttaroy, a senior double major in government and sociology told Patch. “I think definitely when someone says something like that it's right for it to be investigated, but hopefully he gets the help he needs and I'm glad no one was hurt.”

Here is a timeline of events that led to the arrest of Song, according to The Diamondback, The Baltimore Sun and the Huffington Post.

  • About 1 week ago: Police were called to Song's Oakland Hall dormitory (northwest corner of campus), after receiving reports that he was yelling and screaming. But "there was nothing that led us to believe he was a threat to himself or to others," Mitchell said, The Baltimore Sun reported.
  • Saturday night: Song posted threatening comments online:

" tomorrow on campus."
"Hopefully I kill enough people to make it to national news."
"Stay away from the Mall tomorrow at 1:30."

Police Spokesman Capt. Marc Limansky said that although the comments Song posted on Saturday night indicated that the shooting would take place "tomorrow," a post found later in the investigation suggested that the rampage was actually planned for Monday, Huffington Post reported.

  • 9:23 p.m. Saturday: Emergency dispatchers received a call from a UMd. alumnus who used to work as a police aide at the university. He reported threatening messages on the user-generated news aggregate website, reddit.com.
  • 1:30 a.m. Sunday: Police received a second call, this time from an anonymous individual in Montana, who said he received an instant message from a person on the chat room Omegle.com, who said he was going to carry out a campus shooting.
  • 4 a.m. Sunday: A third person notified police, after seeing another post on Omegle.com.
  • 4:45 a.m. Sunday: Police determined the messages were sent from a computer on campus.
  • 6 a.m. Sunday: Police identified Song.
  • 7:30 a.m. Sunday: Police entered Song's dormitory, but he wasn't there. His roommate, Brian Barnett, was there though, The Diamondback reported Monday.

"They were looking for my roommate; they didn't tell me any information, just asked questions about what I knew, and I didn't know anything," Barnett told The Diamondback.

  • 10:06 a.m. Sunday: Police arrested Song, who was unarmed. The original  stated that Song was charged with a misdemeanor that is punishable by a fine up to $2,500 and/or up to six months in jail. He was taken to an area hospital for psychiatric evaluation.
  • Sunday night: Police served a search warrant to Song's parents at their Howard County home, and seized his laptop for forensic analysis, according to The Diamondback.
  • Sunday and Monday: Police almost doubled the their presence on campus.
  • 8:55 p.m. Sunday: Police issued a press statement about Song's arrest.
  • 11:30 p.m. Sunday: Police issued an information alert, The Diamondback reported. (According to The Baltimore Sun, a campus alert was issued at 1 a.m. Monday.)
  • 12:40 p.m. Monday: University President Wallace Loh issued a campus-wide email about the incident. According to The Sun, the message stated that detectives were:

"actively tracking the student's whereabouts throughout [Sunday] morning, and a public alert might have disrupted those efforts before they were able to take him into custody."

Pamela Torro March 13, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Good work by all involved. It sure seems like he had a psychiatric break and needs medical attention. Glad no one was hurt.

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