Medford, Ore. — RCC staff says a “credible threat” closed the Riverside campus on Thursday, prompting faculty and Medford Police to investigate. After a note was found, referencing the 2015 Umpqua Community College shooting, school leaders quickly decided to evacuate, and close the campus for the rest of the day.
At the time, a lot of students say they thought it was a drill.
“We were in the buildings, and there was an announcement over the loudspeaker, just saying that we needed to evacuate,” Elannia Lake said. “And then I got an email from RCC saying the same thing.”
Lake was getting ready to take her spring term finals, when the campus was suddenly closed down for the day. While the reasons surrounding the closure weren’t immediately clear, she says she was satisfied with the response.
“I think that getting all the students out if it was some sort of threat, I think that that was the best thing they could have done at first,” Lake said.
It was shortly after that the school released the information about the threat. Around 12:30, staff says a faculty member found a note in their mailbox, with a frightening message.
“It was a reference to UCC that we found particularly troubling, which of course, involved a shooting there, and that had us respond at our highest level of precaution,” Kirk Gibson said, RCC Vice President of Instruction.
Gibson says police were immediately called. Officers joined campus security to check over the evacuated buildings. Sergeant Derek Parks says even with the extra help, a lot remains unclear.
“We take every threat seriously,” Parks said. “At this point there’s no specific threat, but just out of safety, the school decided to send everybody home for the day.”
School officials say they’re still working with police to figure out who is responsible.
“We haven’t established who wrote it, whether or not… you know, we simply don’t know, and in those cases, we much rather err on the side of being very cautious,” Gibson said.
Medford police say a detective is being assigned to the case. If you have any information, call police.