HAMPTON, Va. — Hampton University has reopened after someone made a bomb threat against the campus on Wednesday morning, forcing the university into lockdown.
A spokesman for the Hampton Police Division confirmed that officers were at the university, helping investigate the situation. Police said the call came in just before 9 a.m.
A message sent to students through the Hampton University Pirate Notification System said, "There is a police emergency. Shelter in place and await further instructions. Updates will be sent via PNS."
A statement from Hampton University said, "the Hampton University Police Department, in conjunction with local, state and federal agencies, is sweeping the campus."
The statement went on to say: "Hampton University is committed to keeping the campus community safe, informed and healthy. The university takes any threats to the campus community's safety seriously and remains vigilant in maintaining the safety and protection of the Hampton University family."
Around 11:45 a.m., police told 13News Now they were reopening the campus. A follow-up statement from Hampton University said investigators "found the threat unsubstantiated" and an all-clear was issued.
“It was kind of scary because we were in the middle of taking a test,” said senior student Christian Ho.
It was a terrifying moment for Ho and fellow student, Emmanuel Young.
“For me, my email wasn’t working, so I went to class as if nothing was happening. I noticed nobody was on campus walking around when I went to my classroom and the door was locked," said Young.
Young was let into the classroom by a professor and learned the campus had received a bomb threat.
It was unclear who sent in the threat.
Wednesday's threat is the latest directed Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) across the country in recent weeks, including a previous threat at Norfolk State University.
“It’s sad, and it’s Black History Month. It’s just the world we live in,” said student Thomas Brown.
The FBI said it is investigating threats to nearly 60 minority institutions, including colleges, as racially or ethnically-motivated hate crimes.
“It’s really sad. I came here just to learn and be educated," said Young. "I don’t want to have to worry about me being stuck in a classroom because of a bomb threat or not being able to go home because something is going on.”
In a statement, Rep. Elaine Elaine Luria (D, VA-02) said, "My thoughts are with the students, faculty, and staff at Hampton University as they endured a bomb threat today."
She went on to say, "The recent threats made against Hampton University and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) during Black History Month are incredibly disturbing and warrant a thorough investigation. I’m grateful that the threat has been cleared, and I am working with my colleagues in Congress to condemn these threats of violence and ensure the safety and security of HBCUs across the country."