CofC, Charleston Co. release 911 calls from campus bomb, shooting threat

CofC, Charleston Co. release 911 calls from campus bomb, shooting threat

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The College of Charleston and Charleston County Consolidated Dispatch each released 911 recordings from the morning of Feb. 10, when a caller claimed to have placed bombs on campus and threatened to shoot others.

The recordings provide insight into the severity of the threat, the mental state and motive of the caller, and the emergency response in the hours afterward.

CofC spokesman Mike Robertson says one of the reasons in releasing the recordings is in the hopes someone may recognize the voice of the caller or the situation the caller describes and help authorities identify that person.

Robertson said the caller contacted College of Charleston police as well as the Charleston County Consolidated Dispatch Center.

"I have a bomb at the College of Charleston," the male voice tells a Charleston County Consolidated dispatcher. When the dispatcher asks where the bomb is located, he says, "The Beatty Center."

"I'm thinking about going there right now and just shooting everyone. I [expletive] hate this place," he says.

That call, along with the call to the College of Charleston, which operators say came in at approximately 10:41 a.m., led to the evacuation of the Beatty Center, the Tate Center and the J.C. Long Building. The Liberty and Craig Residence Halls and the Education Center were also evacuated.

During the call to Charleston County dispatchers, he said he had a gun and wanted to kill himself.

"Sir, what's your name?" the dispatcher asks.

"It doesn't matter," the caller answers after a pause. "I've placed a bomb there. It's set on a timer."

When the dispatcher again presses for a name, he tells her his name is "Zach."

He told the dispatcher he was near the Beatty Center at that time.

"I'm thinking of going there and just shooting everyone and blowing up the bomb," he says.

"Okay, sir, well we don't want you to do that, okay?" the dispatcher responds.

She asks when the bomb is set to explode and he responds, "five hours."

He would not tell the operator where the bomb was.

"You'll have to look for it," he says. "I don't want to tell you where it is." After another pause, he says, "I think I'm going to go there and just shoot everyone."

"What makes you want to shoot everyone?" she asks.

"I'm done with this school," he answers. "They've left me out of everything fun. They never called me, never did anything for me, there never acknowledged me I was there. I don't have any friends."

"Get everybody out of the Beatty Center," he warns. "I don't want to hurt them, but I will. If you don't evacuate it, I will hurt them."

"Zach" also called the College's information line and at one point an operator was able to patch him to a CofC dispatcher.

"I have a bomb in the Beatty Center and I'm thinking about going around and shooting people. I have a gun right now. I'm on campus," he says. Again, he refuses to say exactly where the bomb is and hangs up. Later, he asks a CofC operator if they are utilizing the fire alarms at the Beatty Center, leading her to ask if he is there. He responds that he's nearby and can hear the fire alarm.

"Zach" later claims to have a second bomb in the Craig Hall courtyard that will go off at the same time as the one he claimed to have placed in the Beatty Center.

He later tells a CofC operator he is regretting placing the bombs because he doesn't want to hurt anyone, but refuses to say where he is because he says he does not want to be arrested. He repeats his claims that his "so-called friends" left him out of everything fun and admits that he does live on campus, but refuses to identify which dorm he lives in.

Hours after a section of the campus and downtown Charleston was blocked off, police and the bomb squad cleared the scene, saying no bombs were found.

Authorities are continuing their investigation.

Anyone with information on the incident should contact Crime Stoppers at (843) 554-1111.

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