PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pamela Lawton brought her son, Michael Mollett to the KDKA-TV studios on Sunday night to surrender to police.
Police had been looking for Mollett since he reportedly posted tweets on Twitter threatening a “Virginia Tech Day” at the Penn State Beaver campus. Police called in the FBI and the threat was considered credible. So on Friday classes were canceled on the college campus and the closing continued through Saturday.
Pamela Lawton says the threats are not like her son. “I apologize for my baby it was because of his mental state. I believe if he was in his right mind none of this would have happened.”
The FBI’s Jeff Killeen says in the post Columbine and Virginia Tech era, threats must be looked at.
“We have to take it seriously,” Killeen said. “We can’t mess around with this. We have to take any and every threat seriously especially to a college or university.”
Killeen declined to talk about the Mollett case specifically but says there are a number of criteria that establish when a threat is credible. The person’s history, mental state, prior violence, and access to weapons are among things that are considered.
Social networking has opened up a world of potential concern and calls about possible threats are reported on a regular basis. “For every 10, 20, 30, or 40 of those, we don’t know which one may be an actual credible threat so we have to be very, very careful,” says Killeen.