A University of California, Berkeley student has been charged with threatening to shoot university staff members in an incident last week that led to an hourslong campus-wide lockdown, court documents obtained Wednesday showed.
Lamar Bursey, 39, was charged Monday with two counts of felony criminal threats after he allegedly sent an email to several university staff members saying that two of them would be shot if he didn’t get the help he needed, according to charging documents from the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.
Bursey, a resident of Hayward, was placed on academic suspension on April 14, according to UC Berkeley police.
Last Thursday, Bursey sent an email just before 6 a.m. to several university staff members telling them he had slept outside the previous night and that they were “his resources,” according to a declaration by UC Berkeley police filed in court.
“I’ll be in the office from aprox 9am to 4pm today. Stop playing with me. Depending on who I feel was helping or not, 2 people on this email will get shot,” Bursey allegedly wrote.
Two of the recipients notified their supervisors that they wouldn’t show up to work that day because they feared for their lives, police said.
Later that morning, UC Berkeley officials ordered a lockdown of the campus and canceled all classes while university police searched building by building for a person who had threatened to hurt specific people. Six public schools in the city of Berkeley closed their gates and entrances out of an abundance of caution, because of their proximity to the college campus.
University officials issued an all-clear more than four hours later, saying that the person who had made the threats was located off-campus by university police. They gave no other information out of respect for the privacy of all involved.
Bursey was arrested at a hospital in the neighboring city of Oakland, university police said in court documents.