RENO — Classes at the University of Nevada, Reno, were canceled Thursday night after police received reports that an Army veteran made threats referencing the Virginia Tech shootings.
Michael James Sheriff, 27, was arrested without incident about 10:30 p.m. in Carson City on a probation violation related to a conviction for carrying a concealed weapon.
Earlier, the search for Sheriff, a former UNR student, intensified after he allegedly sent a text message to a relative saying “the Korean is my hero,” apparently referring to the gunman who killed 32 people at Virginia Tech, Reno police said. He also allegedly told another relative Wednesday that he would be unavailable for the next few days because he would be on a “mission,” police said.
Authorities noted that no specific threat was made, and no target was named.
Family members contacted authorities expressing concern about Sheriff, who served in the Iraq war and had been treated for post traumatic stress disorder and mental illness, police said.
Officers had recovered an empty gun holster from his home, police said.
University officials e-mailed students late Thursday announcing they canceled classes as a precaution.
“No direct threat to the campus has been made, but this situation must be taken seriously,” officials said in a prepared statement.
The Reno incident was only one of many cases across the nation of campus threats in the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings. Among them:
• A man who allegedly threatened a similar massacre turned himself in to authorities late Thursday in Yuba City, Calif., ending a daylong manhunt that prompted school districts in two cities north of Sacramento to tighten security.
• A freshman at California State University, Channel Islands in Camarillo was arrested Thursday after a fellow student reported seeing a note on her Facebook.com page that said she planned a “school shooting spree.”
• A Web designer was charged Thursday with posting on his own site a bogus threat to kill 50 San Diego State University students, then alerting a TV station to try to draw publicity, the FBI said.