The campus community has taken further precautions today after the Middletown Police Department (MPD) notified the campus that Stephen Morgan, the alleged gunman in Wednesday’s fatal shooting of Johanna Justin-Jinich ’10, may be targeting Wesleyan, as well as its Jewish community.
According to an all-campus e-mail sent by Dean Mike Whaley, Vice President for Student Affairs, the University has been made aware of threats written in a personal journal “directed at Wesleyan and/or its Jewish students.” It remains unclear where or when this journal was found, but its discovery has led to a heightened security presence on campus.
Both MPD and Public Safety are stationed throughout the campus and outside of residential buildings. Students were evacuated from the Bayit this morning under the protection of Public Safety; these students were driven to other residential buildings on campus and will reside there until the details of the threat are clarified. Congregation Adath Israel, a synagogue located on Church Street, was closed at the request of MPD.
Authorities have established that Stephen Morgan had a direct link to Justin-Jinich. According to The Hartford Courant, Morgan and Justin-Jinich participated in a six-week summer program held at New York University in 2007. Both stayed in the same residential building, but did not share the same residence hall. Justin-Jinich filed a harassment complaint with NYU’s Public Safety toward the end of the program, after receiving harassing e-mails and phone calls from Morgan. After initial conversations, however, Justin-Jinich declined to pursue the case.
According to an all-campus e-mail sent around 6:30 a.m. on Thursday, the suspect has yet to be apprehended. Students are to remain cautious, and faculty and staff have been instructed not to come to their offices today. Dining and administrative services remain closed; boxed lunches will be distributed to residences. Students have been instructed to remain inside their residences as the investigation continues.