Bethune-Cookman University threats made by caller claiming affiliation with neo-Nazi group, police say

Chief Jakari Young says bomb, shooting threats were made by one caller

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A lockdown early Monday at Bethune-Cookman University was prompted by a two threats, including a bomb threat, made by a caller claiming to be affiliated with a neo-Nazi organization, according to the Daytona Beach Police Department.

Police Chief Jakari Young said during a news conference that the department received a call around 4:35 a.m. that lasted about 20 minutes from someone reporting they had placed several explosives disguised in duffel bags and backpacks around the Daytona Beach campus.

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The caller said the bombs would be detonated at noon and then made another threat of a shooting that would occur around 12:30 p.m., which is why a lockdown was issued, police said.

The university was under lockdown for several hours until police said the campus had been cleared. Classes were canceled for the day.

Young said the FBI is leading the investigation into the threat as B-CU was one of at least six historically Black universities responding to bomb threats on Monday.

“I’m sure everyone has heard that several other campuses around the nation experienced the same threat today. I believe there was a total of seven historically black colleges and universities that received the same threat today. But with that, knowing that we still took this threat very seriously, and we left no stone unturned to ensure the safety of the campus,” he said.

In warnings to students, school officials say some of the threats were directed at academic buildings.

Georgia’s Albany State University warned students and faculty on social media that “a bomb threat was issued to Albany State University’s academic buildings.” Along with B-CU, similar threats were made to Howard University in Washington, D.C.; Bowie State University in Maryland; Southern University and A&M College in Louisiana; and Delaware State University.

These threats also came as more than a dozen self-proclaimed Nazis yelled antisemitic slogans in Orlando near Alafaya Trail and Waterford Lakes Parkway.

“I don’t know if it’s connected to what took place in Orlando, but it does have the affiliation to the neo-Nazi organization,” Young said.

While the lockdown has been lifted, Young said there will continue to be additional resources on and around campus “until further notice.”

About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.